1 Thursday, 8 November 2007
2 [Statement of the Accused]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Very well. Today is Thursday, the 8th of November, 2007. My
12 greetings to all and everyone in the courtroom. Ms. Dahl on behalf of the
13 Prosecution; Mr. Seselj; the court deputy; the Legal Officers; the Senior
14 Legal Officers; and also the usher assisting; the interpreters; and the
15 security guards. You know that today's hearing is devoted to the
16 opening -- or the statement by the accused pursuant to Rule 84 bis.
17 Therefore, Mr. Seselj was granted the entire day, the entire morning, that
18 is, four hours for the purpose of his statement.
19 But before I give him the floor, there's something to say,
20 Ms. Dahl?
21 MS. DAHL: Yes, Your Honour. Two points, one regarding security
22 and the other one regarding Mr. Seselj's statement this morning.
23 Yesterday during my opening there was an incident that I saw out of the
24 corner of my eye that involved the security guards and persons in the
25 public gallery having contact or some communication with Mr. Seselj,
1 and I would like to instruct Mr. Seselj to refrain from
2 communicating in any manner with members in the personal gallery -- I'm
3 sorry the public gallery, be they friends or people whom he dislikes. I
4 don't know the details of the incident, but I did see the security guards
5 shooing someone away from inside this courtroom to people in the public
7 The second concerns a request that Mr. Seselj be warned before he
8 makes his statement that if he says anything that is incriminating, that
9 the Chamber can use it against him in adjudicating this case if the
10 Chamber credits it with probative value. Self-representation is hazardous
11 in this respect. The accused may in presenting his defence convict
12 himself, and I want him to be chastened that in this instance I will use
13 what he says against him.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, on the basis of what
15 you just told me I am going to read out Rule 84 bis for everybody to
16 understand properly, including those who follow the proceedings. 84 bis
17 from the Rules of Procedure and Evidence:
18 "Statement or the accused.
19 "(A) after the opening statements of the parties or if pursuant to
20 Rule 84 the Defence elects to defer its opening statement after the
21 opening statement of the Prosecutor, if any, the accused may if he or she
22 so wishes make a statement under the control of the Trial Chamber and with
23 the agreement of the Trial Chamber. The accused shall not be compelled to
24 make a solemn declaration and shall not be examined about the content of
25 the statement.
1 "(B) the Trial Chamber shall decide on the probative value, if
2 any, of the statement."
3 The Trial Chamber therefore concludes that the accused can speak,
4 make a statement before -- after the opening statement of the Prosecution
5 with the agreement of and under the control of the Trial Chamber, so it
6 does not have to make a solemn declaration and he shall not be examined
7 about the content of the statement. So Rule (B) states that the
8 Trial Chamber shall decide on the probative value, if any, of the
9 statement. So this is what sets out Rule 84 bis.
10 Regarding this incident, indeed, I noticed yesterday that there
11 was a security guard making some gestures, I don't know what it was. I'm
12 sure that there's going to be a written report by the security guard to
13 his hierarchy as to what happened.
14 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, Ms. Dahl is resorting to
18 untruths again and inappropriate interventions just to spend my time, I
19 believe. She was not capable of using her own four hours, she spoke for
20 less than three hours and now she is simply envious because I am in a
21 position to speak for four hours or perhaps even more than that. There
22 was no incident yesterday. What happened was that a man from the public
23 gallery was sitting here right in front of me and he was staring at me in
24 a way that I personally considered to be provocative. Perhaps it even
25 wasn't even provocative. What crossed my mind was that something similar
1 happened to Viktor Korchnoi in his test match with Karpov or rather
2 Spassky. Now, was it in the Philippines, years ago. I drew the guard's
3 attention to that, the guard intervened, and they moved that man to
4 another row in the public gallery. Noting else happened. I really don't
5 see why we are turning a fly into an elephant.
6 When the Trial Chamber or the Prosecutor are trying to violate my
7 rights, I really know how to fight for them, and now the Prosecutor is
8 cautioning me not to incriminate myself. I am going to talk about the
9 facts here, regardless of whether they incriminate me or not. I do not
10 stop at anything in terms of your views on my positions, my behaviour, my
11 conduct over the past 15 or 20 years, I'm not interested in that. I hold
12 the same positions today that I held 15 or 17 years ago. I have perfected
13 them even further. However, since you have started wasting my precious
14 time already with totally insignificant matters, I want to tell you
15 something very significant very briefly. I established contact with my
16 associates and they found an agency Matiko in Belgrade, a translation
17 agency, translation for into foreign languages Proleterski Solidarnosti
18 number 63, the telephone number is 334-1335 in Belgrade.
19 They are in a position to translate both of my main books, the
20 ones that I insist on up until the end of January for 25.000 euro. The
21 price can go down 4 or 5.000 euro perhaps, if we are talking about the
22 parts that the Prosecution already translated; that's about a third of
23 that book, "The Ideology of Serb Nationalism," so the Registry can reduce
24 the amount by that number of pages. So I have handled that and I hope
25 that in the future I will not have to do the work of the Registry.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for the
2 information relating to the translation of your book, but now you have the
3 floor for your statement further to the Rules.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I have no intention of
5 personally hurting any of you when I say here that I am being tried by an
6 illegal and illegitimate court. I am talking about that an institution
7 that was unlawfully established in 1993 by the Security Council of the
8 United Nations, in direct contravention of international customary law.
9 The Security Council did that according to the diktat of the United States
10 of America. During those years they were an unchallenged world power and
11 the other permanent members of the Security Council practically carried
12 out everything they wished without any objections. The members of the Security
13 Council then inappropriately invoked Chapter 7 of the Charter of the United
14 Nations speaking about the establishment and preservation of world peace
15 or peace in certain regions. This is the first court in the history of
16 mankind that was established as a means of attaining peace or preserving
18 So already at the outset the establishment of this court was not
19 aimed at establishing justice, but establishing a particular type of
20 peace, which is called Pax Americana increasingly in current political
21 practice, on the basis of Pax Romana, the alleged peace operations of the
22 ancient Roman Empire. This court was established unlawfully but it also
23 has a pronounced anti-Serb orientation. Proof of that is the fact that an
24 incredibly large number of Serbs were processed before this court in
25 relation to members of other ethnicities. Also on a regular basis Serbs
1 are being sentenced to far harsher sentences than Muslims, Croats,
2 Albanians, and others.
3 The task of this court has been carried out through many of its
4 judgements, and that task is to falsify modern Serb history. A drastic
5 example of this falsification of modern Serb history is the proclamation
6 of a genocide having taken place in Srebrenica, inventing that 7 or 8.000
7 Muslim prisoners of war were executed there. Of course the truth is quite
8 different. The total number of corpses found was 2500, although the
9 entire terrain was searched, dug up, a cemetery was organized, and
10 pedantic researchers established that out of these 2500 corpses, over 800
11 of them were persons who got killed on the Muslim side between 1992 and
12 1995 and one should take into account the fact that many Muslim soldiers
13 got killed during the breakthrough and also in mutual conflicts between
14 the Muslims themselves.
15 Dutch officers and the Dutch parliament were informed that indeed
16 a crime had happened, I'm not denying that, but 1.000 prisoners of war
17 were executed, it's an atrocious crime but it's not genocide. However,
18 what was done in a premeditated manner was to brand the Serb people as a
19 genocidal people, this leading to a ruling of the International Court of
20 Justice as well. A protected group could only be all the Muslims of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 2.170.000 of them living there, not only the
22 Muslims of Srebrenica. This was abuse in a premeditated fashion, that is
23 to say a UN-protected area was abused, and it was qualified as a protected
24 group on the basis of the convention of genocide.
25 This trick proved to be successful in the Western media, but
1 thanks to me and people like me this will never succeed among the Serb
2 people. Why am I being tried here? Because I became unbearable to the
3 Americans and to their allies in Serbia, because already in 2002, there
4 was the danger of I and my political party toppling the puppet regime of
5 traitors that was established after the American coup of October 2000.
6 The Americans want to have their cronies in power so that they could
7 obtain other anti-Serb interests, so they could take away Kosovo from us,
8 in the future Vojvodina as well, and who knows what else after that.
9 Now why are the Americans and their Western allies against us
10 Serbs? Because we are a small people but a people that cannot be
11 subjugated, because we are close to the Russians too, as allies, from a
12 cultural point of view, from any point of view. We are originally
13 Russians, actually, we are originally eastern Slavs, and we are not
14 ashamed of that origin of ours, as opposed to the Catholic Slavs who
15 renounced their origin and even agreed to go against the Russians, to
16 become the enemies of the Russians. We did not do that. We are their
17 allies, we are small-scale Russians in the Balkans, that is why the
18 Americans hate us and that is why they are trying to destroy us.
19 An indictment lacking in seriousness was issued me.
20 Mr. President, while you were the Pre-Trial Judge, you know that on a few
21 occasions I expressed my readiness to have a direct dialogue with the
22 Prosecutor to deal with the some of the problematic issues in this
23 indictment and perhaps I could even teach them how to correct some of the
24 inaccuracies in terms of my biography; however, the Prosecutor has been
25 shunning this for the past five years like the plague, but my only
1 precondition was to have my associates present and to have all of this
3 This indictment was written in haste, it was written by legally
4 incapable people, not exactly prone to thinking, and now I'm going to
5 prove the ultimate incompetence of The Hague Prosecutor’s Office in this way.
6 If we look at the first paragraph it says that from 1981 to 1984 I taught political
7 science at Sarajevo University as an assistant lecturer. What an amazing stupidity.
8 What goes on in your country? Can assitant lecturers give lectures on political
9 science or any other subject? They just have classes with students. It is
10 professors – assistant professors, associate professors, full professors, who
11 give lectures. Even when I was expelled from the department, I held the title
12 of research associate that was equivalent to that of assistant professor.
13 Then in paragraph 2 the Prosecutor says that I was originally a
14 communist. That is not true. Originally I was a baby and I became a
15 communist when I became an adolescent, that is, when I was admitted into
16 the communist party, I wasn't even 17-years-old. I was thrown out of the
17 communist party in a spectacular way as soon as I ceased to be an
18 adolescent. It was really spectacular, the way they threw me out.
19 Now, why was that placed here at all? You know we lived under a
20 communist regime of a totalitarian nature under Tito's dictatorship and it
21 was customary there that young people be admitted into all political
22 organizations led by the communist party, and when they are on the
23 threshold of maturity, they take the best into the communist party, the
24 best students, the best pupils, et cetera. That was the system. Marxism
25 was the only view of the world that was allowed that could have been
1 studied at schools, universities, et cetera. When I completed all of
2 these schools and started thinking with my own head, I rebelled against
3 communism. Since I did not start as a communist, I was not originally a
4 communist but a baby. As a baby I was very troublesome.
5 The Prosecutor had to dig far deeper into my past and to say what
6 it is what it is I did as a baby, what I did in elementary school, and
7 what I did as a university student, and so on and so forth.
8 It says here that when I became critical of the communist regime
9 in the early 1980s, I developed close relations with a group of Serb
10 nationalists. What group of Serb nationalists? At that time there was no
11 group of Serb nationalists. And they are trying, in a premeditated way,
12 to find some group of Serb nationalists in the 1980s and to proclaim that
13 that group is the root cause of all evil in the Balkans, and they're even
14 trying to identify that group with the entire Serbian Academy of Sciences
15 and Arts.
16 Now, who is it that I established contact with, Ljubomir Tadic,
17 the father of the present-day president of Serbia, Boris Tadic; also with
18 Boris Tadic himself; also with Veselinka Zastavnikovic who was I was
19 arrested with, she was at the time Boris Tadic's wife, and we were
20 released from prison in 1984. I was friends with Milovan Djilas, I was
21 friends with Nebojsa Popov, Vesna Pesic, I even went to her house,
22 Vuk Draskovic. All of them are now notorious Serb traitors. Also I was
23 friends with Dobrica Cosic who recently wrote in a book of his that he
24 considers himself to be the spiritual father of Zoran Djindjic and he
25 never said that he's a nationalist. He never said that he himself was a
1 nationalist. None of them ever said that they were Serb nationalists.
2 And they did not expose themselves that way. Most of them are the
3 representatives of the so-called Praksis group of thought, these are
4 dissidents within the Marxist view of the world.
5 And during those years I exposed myself as a Serb nationalist and
6 I am the only Serb intellectual who in the 1980s said of myself publicly,
7 openly, and everywhere, that he was a Serb nationalist. That's why my
8 books were banned, that's why I wasn't able to find a job, that's why I
9 was restricted in various other ways. That does not mean that there were
10 not other Serb nationalists, there were millions of people at that time
11 who were Serb nationalists, however among the Serb intellectuals there was
12 not a single person who was courageous to state publicly, "I am a Serb
13 nationalist." There were not even those who were able to say of
14 themselves, "I am anti-communist." There were no people like that. So if
15 they criticised the communist system, they did so with the frameworks of
16 the Marxist ideology.
17 I am proud that for all those years I was the sole person who
18 stated publicly, loud and clear, that I was a Serb nationalist. Why
19 didn't others do that? Because they were afraid of the repressive
20 measures of the communist regime. The nationalists were persecuted in the
21 harshest manner, but I was not afraid. I am not afraid today either. I
22 have never been afraid. I have never been afraid of anything in this
23 world, and in my acts there were just two limitations. As Immanuel Kant
24 would have put it, I am limited by my own internal law and the starry sky
25 above me, the heavens. Nothing more than that. No laws, no courts, no
1 force, no state, no international institutions, nothing can limit and
2 restrict me, if I consider that they are behaving in an immoral way,
3 contrary to the law and illegally, and I am proud of that.
4 If you take a look at the indictment you can see several other
5 very strange and ludicrous things. In point 4, for example, it says that
6 in June 1990 I formed the Serbian Revival Movement Party -- Renewal
7 Movement Party. That is a lie. I was never a member of the Serbian
8 National Renewal party. Serbian National Renewal on the 6th of January,
9 not in June 1990, but on the 6th of January 1990, Nova Pazova was
10 organized by Vuk Draskovic with Mirko Jovic. And I was never a member of
11 that Serbian National Renewal Party myself and that Serbian National
12 Renewal was never renamed the Serbian Chetnik Movement and that is
13 something that the whole of Serbia knows.
14 Mrs. Dahl couldn't care less that in front of the whole of Serbia
15 I have irrefutable proof that the Prosecution is lying. They don't mind
16 about that. That's not the only lie. I'll show you many other lies. And
17 then they go on to say that the elections in December 1990, his party won
18 almost 100.000 votes. That is a lie. My party did not take part in the
19 elections in 1990, it just did not take part at all. My party was called
20 the Serbian Chetnik Movement and the communist regime which had not been
21 reformed yet, led by Slobodan Milosevic, refused to register the Serbian
22 Chetnik Movement as a political party. And so we were not able to take
23 part in the elections at all, and I personally from prison - it was
24 Milosevic's prison - that I put myself forward as candidate as president
25 of the republic as a candidate put forward by the Group of Citizens, and I
1 was in prison when my nomination was announced on television. And as an
2 individual, I won 100.000 votes as one of the Group of Citizens.
3 Now, perhaps it doesn't seem very serious to you that I insist on
4 this because this is important for me, because it is proof that the
5 indictment was written without any seriousness. And then it says soon
6 after that the authorities and the SFRY banned the Serbian Chetnik
7 Movement. That is a lie again. Never did anybody ban the Serbian Chetnik
8 Movement. It was not banned. They just refused to register it as a
9 political party because the Ministry of Justice said a political party of
10 that kind with that name cannot be registered, but it continued to
11 function and had a newspaper which was called Velika Srbija and the
12 authorities never meddled in this and it was the Serbian authorities that
13 had the power.
14 Next it says in paragraph 4 of the indictment once again that
15 after the Serbian Radical Party was founded and the Serbian Radical Party
16 was founded with the unity of the Serbian Chetnik Movement and the
17 National Radical party as an amalgamation on the 23rd of February, 1991,
18 it says that at daily rallies during the election campaign I called for
19 Serb unity and war against Serb's historic enemies, namely the
20 populations, the ethnic Croat, Muslim, and Albanian populations within the
21 territories of the former Yugoslavia it says here. That's an absolute
22 lie. That was February 1991 still. I always called for the unity of
23 Serbs, as I indeed do today, but at that time I didn't call to war and I
24 never called anybody to war unless it was a question of defence, the
25 defence of the Serb people.
1 Defence from whom? From various enemies, traditional enemies, the
2 Germans and the Vatican in the first place, and their exponents on
3 Yugoslav territory. Because this war, the war in which we Serbs have been
4 routed, is not a war against the Croats and the Muslims that we wage, or
5 the Albanians for that matter but against their bosses, the Vatican,
6 Germany, America, the North Atlantic pact and so on and so forth. And in
7 the final stage of that war, the North Atlantic pact was directly exposed
8 because its exponents got tired, the puppets got tired, so they had to
9 step in.
10 Next what is claimed here, and as they cannot ascribe a single
11 crime to me, let alone, the heart-rendering story that we heard yesterday
12 and I was struck by that story - if it's true, I don't know whether it is
13 true - about a Muslim mother that was left without two children, whose two
14 young children were allegedly killed and we heard this heart-breaking
15 story for half an hour. So that is a true example of dirty propaganda.
16 Where is the evidence and proof of those two children having been killed
17 and how is that linked to me? In what way? Did I wish the war? Did I
18 cause a war, and then that happened in the war? So how have I been
19 brought into connection with those killings? If those killings took place
20 and we'll see that during this trial.
21 Now, furthermore what is used here is a whole construction. It is
22 the joint criminal enterprise concept that is being used, and the
23 Prosecution, in an artificial way, is linking me up with that. And then
24 they list a whole series of names, ad hoc. Now, they've added to that
25 list and added Radmilo Bogdanovic, who at the end of March or the
1 beginning of April 1991 tendered his resignation as minister of the
2 interior and from that time he did not occupy a prominent post in state
3 power and authority, he was a deputy in parliament after that for a number
4 of years. Then they added Milan Babic, so today it's one person, tomorrow
5 it can be somebody else.
6 Any enterprise was impossible in which I would take part with the
7 persons listed. I was openly hostile to some of them, others I never met
8 in my life, as for others again, I asked that they be replaced like
9 Kadijevic, the then-minister of defence and so on and so forth.
10 Now, I'm not going to tire you with long explanations as to my
11 relationships with each of these people, I have already explained that in
12 testifying during the Slobodan Milosevic trial and as recently you made a
13 ruling that the entire transcript of my testimony at that trial be entered
14 into evidence, and I did not oppose that. There's no need for me to
15 repeat it. You have it. But I would like to refer to the construction
16 itself. The construction of participating in a joint criminal enterprise
17 as a form of executing a crime, a criminal act, has seem to become
18 practice in The Hague Tribunal in practically all the trials of the
19 accused Serbs, although there is no statutory grounds for that. The
20 Statute of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia knows of
21 no such provision. Those people in The Hague who constructed it and
22 promoted it in order to introduce through the JCE are the principle of
23 objective responsibility which has long been rejected in criminal law in
24 the civilised world. In addition to this, it serves as grounds to,
25 through the proceedings, quite by chance, try an individual and a whole
1 group. So through the trial of an individual, you are in fact trying a
2 whole group. And the group does not have firm members and a firm
4 If you look at the -- it's all arbitrary. So if you look at the
5 joint criminal enterprise in my indictment, in Martic's, Babic's, and
6 Milosevic's indictment, this is not strictly defined because there are
7 various names that are bandied about. For a group to be defined, a common
8 goal is proclaimed or a common undertaking, an enterprise, and then it is
9 being proved by the consequences of war devastation exclusively, whose
10 tendentious identification is made in a highly selective manner and always
11 to the detriment of the Serbs. It then appears that it was only the Serbs
12 who committed crimes, that it was only Serbs who pilfered and plundered
13 and destroyed and destroyed religious buildings, but crimes did happen in
14 the war and the crimes were perpetrated by the members of all the warring
15 sides, all the parties to the war. And all of them committed crimes of
16 the same nature. So here all we can do is to quantify crimes and not to
17 qualify the crimes.
18 By falsifying historical facts and systematic manipulation with
19 false witnesses from one judgement to another, it -- insistence is made on
20 the fact that the Serbs are the main culprits for the war and everything
21 that the war brought with it. What was proclaimed was that they
22 intentionally and in a planned manner carried out war crimes in order to
23 realise and further their own political and statehood aims, and this they
24 say was done in such a brutal way that we have a situation in which every
25 Serb, who in any way whatsoever took part in the Serb war effort, can
1 quite simply be proclaimed a participant in the joint criminal enterprise.
2 That's how far they went. As a member of this joint criminal enterprise,
3 they can then be tried for every crime committed by the Serb side,
4 regardless of whether that person ever heard of the crime having been
5 committed somewhere or regardless of whether the person involved knew the
7 So the perpetrators are immaterial or persons who are participants
8 in crimes or criminal acts. The only thing that is important is that the
9 criminals were participants of the Serb war effort even if they were
10 highly detrimental to the Serbs. Since certain participants in the war
11 efforts committed various crimes, then by the same token it would appear
12 that all the other participants in the war effort are to blame, regardless
13 of the fact that they did not agree with the crimes committed or whether
14 they stood up to those crimes. And criminal responsibility is introduced
15 for other peoples' conduct and behaviour with which the accused had
16 nothing to do and from that to determining responsibility for the whole of
17 the Serb nation is just one step away.
18 As for this construction of the joint criminal enterprise, there
19 is no grounds for that in international criminal law nor in national
20 jurisdictions either. The Statute of The Hague Tribunal also does not
21 know of this concept and it was introduced into its practice for the first
22 time only in the Dusko Tadic judgement on the 15th of July, 1999.
23 Afterwards, there was a lot of wavering and wondering in determining the
24 frameworks for this joint criminal enterprise, where it was a joint
25 intention, plan, undertaking, or whatever, which are not synonymous terms
1 although the Trial Chambers of The Hague Tribunal tried to make them
2 appear as being synonyms. And although the statutory norms exclusively
3 insist on individual criminal responsibility, this artificial construction
4 of a joint criminal enterprise introduces directly the principle of
5 collective responsibility by which the statutory jurisdiction of the
6 Tribunal is being expanded and the framework of the responsibilities for
7 the accused is being enlarged. It is not necessary to prove that they,
8 the co-perpetrators, had allegedly a joint intent by perpetrating the
9 crime. All that is sufficient is that one of the actors in the joint
10 criminal enterprise could have committed crimes and a participant had the
11 consciousness of knowing of the consequences willingly took on that risk.
12 Now, since individual criminal responsibility was not treated at
13 the relevant time and in the relevant area, the only applicable law is
14 Yugoslav criminal law. None of the participants who were perpetrators or
15 collaborated in these events need not have known that there was a criminal
16 act afoot. They did not have the consciousness of an act that was a
17 crime. So nullum crimen sine lege is being overridden and the accused are
18 being judged without any -- without having committed a crime. So to take
19 on criminal proceedings and to bring people to trial depends on arbitrary
20 choice and political needs. So with this kind of construction, instead of
21 the rule of law, the Tribunal has demonstrated the rule of lawyers,
22 alleged professionals who have no conscience and have allowed themselves
23 during a criminal trial to create legal norms having the force of law, and
24 their arbitrariness has put justice on a second level.
25 Now, delayed justice is justice denied, and The Hague trials have
1 been going on for a long time. Whether accused are waiting for the start
2 of trial or for evidence or for the appeals process. The Hague judges at
3 their own initiative expanded the notion of command responsibility, but also
4 their own jurisdiction. They were very arrogant in explaining these actions,
5 publicly going against their critics. And this in the face of all the
6 criticisms. For this concept of the joint criminal enterprise to be as
7 believable as possible, they accepted obvious falsifications and
8 forgeries, things that have been conjured up and overexaggerated crimes.
9 Their unilateral selection in order to cover up crimes of the war-time enemies
10 of the Serbs and the intentions to further certain goals or reach certain
11 goals, and this criminal adjective has been appended is seen by subsequent
12 events. With The Hague judgements, in a premeditated and systematic and
13 conscious manner, historical facts are being distorted and the truth, too,
14 the truth in inverted commas, the truth is created according to the
15 protagonist of a new world order. The historical context of the Balkan
16 Wars and the cause and effect is something that nobody is interested in in
17 The Hague Tribunal. The Hague judges are implementing American dictates
18 because they are very well paid to listen and not to think or to deal with
19 ethical problems.
20 All the American crimes perpetrated during several military
21 interventions by using a sophisticated air force and uranium depleted
22 bombs are collateral damage and humanitarian realisation of supreme justice,
23 whereas the adversaries of Americans are generic and genetic criminals.
24 The Hague Tribunal even investigated crimes committed by the American
25 aggression against Serbia and then they gave up the job, stating that
1 there were not sufficient elements for criminal proceedings to be
2 initiated. So that is proof of this Hague justice, and for this
3 construction of the joint criminal enterprise to be applied to the Serbs,
4 the participants in the war, systematic distortion of cause and effect in
5 the war was carried out. Anti-Serb prejudice and stereotypes were put
6 forward and inaugurated as a starting point of The Hague Tribunal's
7 policies and practice and the preliminary conclusion that the Serbs are
8 the main culprits for everything that took place.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please speak more slowly.
10 Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since relevant facts are usually
12 lacking, shameless falsification comes into play if real historical facts
13 are in contradiction --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, could you speak more
15 slowly, please. The interpreters have difficulty keeping up with you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will try, Judge.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I would also like to
18 ask you to lower your voice. I understand full well, I understand that
19 you have a voice that carries, I also have a voice that carries, but we
20 cannot hear the translation properly in our headsets because your voice is
21 very loud. Thank you very much.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will try to speak slower and less
23 loudly, but you have to understand, Mrs. Judge, that adrenaline has been
24 rising in me for five years and now is the day when all that pent-up
25 adrenaline is venting. I will try, but sometimes I will forget and then
1 you will again find me too loud.
2 If real historical facts are in contradiction with the ideological conceptions of
3 the creators of the new world order, then tant pis for the facts. These courts -
4 this court does not rely either on historical facts or principles. Rules are
5 created during trials themselves, and that reminds us of summary and special courts.
6 This is the most striking indicator of the totalitarian pattern of legal thought
7 dominating the overall activity of the Hague Tribunal. Although the burden of
8 proving one’s guilt should be on the Prosecution, in practice, it is the accused
9 who has to prove his innocence, whereas it is proclaimed that there was a joint
10 criminal enterprise on the Serbian side and the accused is a participant in the
11 JCE, nothing else needs to be proven.
12 The concept of the joint criminal enterprise far overreaches the individualization
13 of culpability and establishes the collective responsibility of the identified,
14 quote unquote, criminal enterprise, which invariably includes the Serbian state.
15 Every citizen of Republika Srpska or the Republic of Serbian Krajina may be
16 indicted and convicted as a participant in the joint criminal enterprise if he had
17 in any way, whatsoever, participated in the war effort of his own people. If
18 he was not a traitor and if he did not serve Western secret services and
19 their subversive activities, the legal uncertainty of accused Serbs is
20 complete. They frequently do not know what they are accused of, nor are
21 they capable of effectively refuting the charges. Instead of individual
22 responsibility being established in a fully legal proceeding with equality
23 of arms, the Hague Tribunal introduces three new forms of liability, inadmissible
24 in modern criminal law. Objective criminal responsibility, liability by
25 analogy, and liability based on assumed guilt.
1 By arbitrary choice, in the selection of those who are going to be accused,
2 the basic motives are the politial interests of the Office of the Prosecutor
3 and its superior international factors who like to present themselves as
4 vehicles of preserving and establishing peace. The founders of The Hague
5 Tribunal intentionally refused to accuse or lay any charges against those
6 who actually caused the break-up of Yugoslavia, although that was the
7 primordial crime from which all other crimes arose. The joint criminal
8 enterprise could only have been in the break-up of the Yugoslav state, whose
9 international borders were guaranteed by the final act -- by the final Helsinki
10 Act of the OSCE. Without determining the responsibility for the beginning of the
11 civil war and without trying not only domestic perpetrators but also international
12 ones, such as German and Vatican supporters, it is out of place to try those who
13 opposed the unilateral breaking up of the Yugoslav state along the seams of the
14 borders of federal units drawn at one point in time by the Communists, arbitrarily
15 and without any legitimate legal document. The Hague Prosecutors very meticulously
16 tried with their indictments, documents, and judgements not to interfere with the
17 foreign policy interests of Western powers or, God forbid, their involvement in the
18 crimes. With premeditated malice, criminal acts of groups and individuals on the
19 Serb side are exaggerated and hypertrophied in order to lay the guilt on them from
20 the highest political and military authorities.
21 I prepared this to explain as clearly as I can my views on the
22 joint criminal enterprise, as an artificial edifice. And now I will try
23 to show you what the application of this edifice looks in practice. Mrs. Dahl spoke
24 for slightly less than three hours, accusing me of being virtually the main culprit
25 for the outbreak of the war because I made inflammatory speeches. But the person
1 who is actually responsible for the beginning of the war basically
2 participated in the joint criminal enterprise. Who is responsible for the
3 beginning of the war? The one who tried to break up a state that had
4 existed for almost a hundred years and that was internationally
5 recognised. Or was it perhaps the one who tried to prevent unilateral
6 secession by individual Yugoslav states? Which one of the two?
7 The basic joint criminal enterprise was on the side of those who
8 tried to break up Yugoslavia, primarily Germany and the Vatican, later
9 joined by the USA. Yugoslavia could not have been broken up on the
10 borders -- along the borders of federal units, those borders were
11 installed by the communist regime. That decision, when it was made on
12 administrative borders, it had no legitimacy, legal legitimacy. You know
13 in the modern world legitimacy can only be established in elections, through the
14 people’s vote, free vote, it was the communist dictatorship that
15 established those federal units after the Second World War.
16 Yugoslavia did not always exist from time immemorial. From the
17 Second World War in the Balkans there were Serbia, Montenegro, the
18 Austro-Hungarian empire and down in the south, Greece, Albania, and in the
19 east Bulgaria and Romania. Before the First World War there was no
20 Croatia, no Slovenia, no Bosnia and Herzegovina, no Kosovo and Metohija,
21 no Vojvodina, and so on and so forth. Victorious Serbia, after the First
22 World War, had within its composition Macedonia, Montenegro, and
23 Vojvodina. And then the Serb regent Aleksandar Karadjordjevic accepted
24 the request of the popular representation of the state of Slovenes,
25 Croats, and Serbs to join Serbia. When Croatia was breaking up, Serb,
1 Croat and Slovene popular representatives met in Zagreb in 1918, they
2 declared the state of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs, and its joining to
3 Serbia. That state was never recognised anywhere and it lasted for a very
4 short time, but it is a proof that Serbia existed on one side, including
5 Macedonia and Vojvodina and Kosovo and Metohija, and on the other hand
6 there was that state of Croats, Slovenes, and Serbs.
7 Yugoslavia, if it was breaking up, ripping on the seams, it could
8 not have ripped on communist borders, it could not have split again into
9 the pre-war Serbia and the state of Croats, Slovenes, and Serbs because
10 even in that latter one Serbs were one of the constituent state-making
11 peoples. Serbs were united with one another and along came Croats and
12 Slovenes. That state was proclaimed as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and
13 Slovenes. And then in 1920 -- rather, 1929, after the 6th of January
14 coup, King Aleksandar who disbanded the parliament and political parties
15 proclaimed the change of name to Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was composed of
16 nine administrative areas, not autonomous regions. Two of them were Croat,
17 bits and pieces of others were joined in order to create the Banovina of
18 Croatia, but they never had time enough to actually put it into a legal
20 Hitler committed an aggression against the unitary Yugoslav state.
21 He first tried in a peaceful way to get that state to join the tripartite
22 pact and the coalition government of the time who was made up of some Serbian
23 and Croatian political representatives first signed that agreement, but the
24 Serbian people came out into the street and toppled that. There was a
25 political -- there was a coup and Hitler occupied Yugoslavia.
1 Having occupied Yugoslavia, Hitler split its territory almost
2 along the same borders that the Americans are dividing Yugoslavia along
3 nowadays. The so-called Independent State of Croatia was proclaimed on
4 the territory of today's Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Srem; Serbia
5 was directly under German occupation; the rest of Vojvodina was split
6 between -- divided between Hungary and Germany. Kosovo and Metohija were
7 joined to the greater Albania, and Macedonia was given to Bulgaria. But
8 the seams are the same, they coincide; they are anti-Serbian. Within the
9 Serbian people there were in the war two anti-fascist movements, one was a
10 nationalist, the former king's army, and the other was the partisans. The
11 Western allies supported the communist partisans, and it was only for that
12 reason that they came out on top. And what did the Croats do? In 1941, Croats,
13 almost down to the last man, were supporting Hitler. German papers wrote that
14 the German army was met in Zagreb with such relish that that can only be
15 matched by the welcome given Hitler in his birthplace in Austria.
16 Croats were throughout the war family with Hitler, and there was
17 even a Croat legion with 200.000 soldiers who fought for Hitler before
18 Stalingrad and got killed almost all of them. That is the essence of the
19 current wars of ours, our conflicts.
20 The communists, following the tradition of the communist
21 international agreement, formed a new project. First of all, they
22 invented new nations to reduce the ratio of Serbs in the total population,
23 and they found fertile ground for that in Macedonia, in which there was not
24 particular national consciousness, the Macedonian population is something
25 between Bulgarians and Serbs, in the east it is closer to Serbs -- sorry,
1 in the west it was closer to Serbs, in the west [as interpreted] it was
2 closer to Bulgarians, but there was no particular political awareness.
3 They speak a modern Stokavian dialect which is close to Serbian. In the
4 beginning, there was no problem with that, but the communists invented,
5 made up, the Montenegrin nation and the Montenegrin government made people
6 declare themselves Montenegrin.
7 20 years after the Second World War, the Muslim nation was
8 invented, and Muslims were supposedly Serbs who converted to Islam during
9 the rule of the Ottoman Empire. They took that religion and they loved
10 it, and why wouldn't they love it because it was close to their heart.
11 However, religion, faith, is not national identity. That's what the
12 communists invented.
13 Towards the end of the Second World War, the communists carried
14 out federalisation of Yugoslavia. Since a genocide was committed against
15 Serbs, more than a million Serbs were killed, and the most Serbs were
16 killed by Croat fascists, clerical fascists, called Ustashas, guided by
17 the Roman Catholic church. Roman Catholic clerics in huge numbers
18 personally with their own hands participated in the slaughter of the
19 Serbian people. Endless testimony exists of that. Volumes and volumes of
20 books exist on it, and volumes and volumes of documents. I hope it is not
21 necessary for me to give you evidence about that here.
22 After this genocide happened, the communists tried through a
23 policy of national reconciliation within the framework of a totalitarian
24 regime to smooth out everything that happened in the Second World War and
25 to form a unified state in which there would be some sort of balance
1 between six federal units. That is how, among others, the Croatian
2 federal unit was created, the Republic of Croatia, the Socialist Republic
3 of Croatia, but it was constituted in such a way that Serb and Croat
4 political leaders from that area met and agreed that the Croat federal
5 unit should exist, but in it the Serb and Croat people would be equal and
6 they would be constituent people. What does this status of a constituent
7 people mean in the Yugoslav theory? That means that nobody but that
8 people can decide on its status without the consent of that people, even
9 if the other people is numerous, which means that the Croatians never had
10 the constitutional right to change the status of the Croatian federal unit
11 or the status of the Serbs within it. Maybe you never encountered in your
12 career, in your practice so far with this problem, but I'll try to give
13 you an example.
14 Imagine that Mrs. Christine Dahl and I belonged to one and the
15 same social community, and in that social community there is a prescribed
16 way of conduct, obligations, rights, and so on. We abide by that and this
17 community is working. Fine. At -- a disruptive factor appears, and
18 somebody tries to change the status of the members of this community.
19 Imagine me, I weigh 120 kilos, Mrs. Dahl, imagine, weighs 90 kilos, and
20 imagine me saying I have then 120 votes because I have 120 kilos, and you
21 correspondingly have 90 votes, and I thereby out-vote you and I change
22 your status, your status is no longer the same, now you are in the
23 minority. That is what happened in Croatia when Tudjman took power,
24 through a unilateral act Tudjman changed the Croatian constitution, and
25 under that new constitution Serbs were no longer a constituent nation.
1 They were, instead, a national minority. The Serbs could not take that,
2 and that is the cause of the war in the Croatian federal unit.
3 Under the constitution of the former federal Yugoslavia, not a
4 single federal unit had the right to secede. It was considered that the
5 right to secede and to determine one's fate was exercised, used up, at the
6 time the Federation was formed after the Second World War. It could not
7 happen anymore. But, on the other hand, it could. Slovenia was able to
8 secede from Yugoslavia because Slovenia does not have any unresolved
9 internal issues, it does not have considerable ethnic groups within it.
10 It only had to resolve the financial issues brought up by the break-up;
11 however, Croatia could not secede from Yugoslavia and change its status
12 without the consent of both the Croats and the Serbs living in Croatia.
13 Had the Serbs who lived in Croatia agreed to the secession of
14 Croatia from Yugoslavia, Croatia could have succeeded; however, without
15 the consent of the Serbs it could not because that is how the Croatian
16 constituent unit had been established. The Republic of Croatia, when it
17 was established after the Second World War, was based on that principle,
18 and that cannot be changed in a one-sided fashion by anyone. The example
19 of Bosnia and Herzegovina is even more drastic. First of all, the
20 communists thought that in Bosnia and Herzegovina there was a Serb
21 majority despite of the genocide that had been carried out that Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina should be within Serbia. And then they thought that
23 territorially this would lead to too big a Serbia, so it's better to have
24 a separate territorial unit. Then Bosnia and Herzegovina was constituted
25 as a federal unit in which three peoples were equal: Serbs, Croats, and
1 Muslims. The Muslims were not considered to be a people, a nation; they
2 were considered to be a special ethnic group, a separate ethnic group,
3 because as they professed the Islamic faith they had a collective
4 awareness of their own, and that is indubitable, I am not challenging that
5 to the present day, there is this collective consciousness based on the
6 Islamic faith. It is not a nation, a people, but it is a separate ethnic
7 group based on religion.
8 These were three constituent peoples, and in the constitution it
9 was also written that these three peoples were constituent peoples of the
10 republic. Now, what does that mean? When their status-related issues
11 were being resolved it was not possible to have any kind of out-voting.
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina could secede from Yugoslavia only if the political
13 representatives of the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims were to agree on that.
14 From a legal point of view it was impossible for the Muslims and the
15 Croats to reach an agreement to out-vote the Serbs and to secede in this
16 way. Legally that was quite untenable, so that was done unlawfully and
17 that is why the Serbs had to react.
18 If Bosnia-Herzegovina was seceding from Yugoslavia, then the Serbs
19 were seceding from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Why not? On the basis of what
20 could the Muslims and Croats secede from Yugoslavia and the Serbs who
21 lived there for centuries could not secede from Bosnia-Herzegovina,
22 where's the logic of that? Foreign factors intervened as well. Vatican
23 and Germany rushed in already in January 1991, as soon as the Vance plan
24 was adopted for the Serb Krajina. They rushed into recognising the
25 independence of Croatia. Judges, I do not have to teach you that there is
1 a principle in international law that has been applied for a long time now
2 when the independence of newly established states is being recognised,
3 independence and sovereignty can be recognised only on that territory that
4 is under the control of a central government. When the independence of
5 Croatia was established, that recognition of independence could only apply
6 to the territory that was under the control at that moment of the central
7 government from Zagreb; it could not apply to other territories. Also in
8 the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Independence could be recognised as well
9 as sovereignty only in that part of the territory that was controlled by
10 Izetbegovic's government from Sarajevo.
11 The United Nations, according to the diktat of America trampled
12 upon international law and they recognised states that could not have been
13 recognised. That is what led to the bloody civil war that ensued. That
14 civil war ended to the detriment of the Serbs then, and historically
15 speaking that cannot last for a long time.
16 Joint criminal enterprise, a joint criminal enterprise was
17 organized by those who were breaking up Yugoslavia, not by us who opposed
18 the break-up of Yugoslavia, who opposed one-sided secession.
19 The indictment abounds in fragments stating that I advocated a
20 Greater Serbia, that I insisted upon a Greater Serbia. And then they
21 bring that in connection with concrete crimes. This just shows that the
22 Prosecution does not understand the concept of a Greater Serbia. They
23 don't know what this is all about. Judges, so far you could have assured
24 yourselves that no one else who is accused here could have been accused of
25 a Greater Serbia except for me. No one in the Serbian public has
1 advocated a Greater Serbia except for the Serb Radical Party, that is our
2 party ideology. I am the modern creator of that ideology, but that is not
3 a new ideology, this ideology is a deeply rooted one. It's been there for
4 over 300 years now. This ideology means that there is a unity among all
6 Yesterday Mrs. Dahl alleged falsely that I advocated a homogenous
7 Greater Serbia; now, that is a lie. Intentionally when she mentioned the
8 countries that were to be included in Greater Serbia on the basis of my
9 speeches and our programme, she omitted intentionally when mentioning this
10 Greater Serbia that would include Kosovo and Metohija and Vojvodina and
11 Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Lika, Banja, Kordun,
12 Slavonia, and Baranja. That we would have brotherly concord among orthodox
13 Serbs, catholic Serbs, protestant Serbs and atheist Serbs. One cannot go
14 without the other. Greater Serbia is our long-term objective. In order
15 to attain that objective, it never crossed our mind to expel 1 million or
16 2 million or 3 million people, we just wanted them to become nationally
17 aware. We wanted to convince them that they were Serbs, we wanted to
18 prove to them that they were Serbs and others made them represent
19 themselves in a false manner. We all speak the same language.
20 Over here you call that language inappropriately, B/C/S, that is
21 just the Serbian language. There is no other language in our part of the
22 world except for the Serbian language. It is not the Croatian language.
23 The Croatian language did exist, its traces are there to the present day
24 but it's called the Cakavian whereas the Serbian language is the
25 Stokavian. This is Slavic linguists. We are Serbs, all of us who speak
1 Stokavian. The Ikavians are Slovenes, the Cakavian are Croats. In the
2 7th century only two clear identified Slav peoples came to the Balkans;
3 Serbs and the Croats. There is no third group. Well, there's the
4 Slovenians too. The Slovenes were within the greater Moravian state
5 before the Avarians came in and then the Czechs and the Slovaks were split
6 up too, eventually. However it is only the Serbs and the Croats that came
7 to the Balkans.
8 The Christian schism happened in the Serbian ethnic area in 1054.
9 Until then, two-thirds of the Serbs belonged to the Western Roman Catholic
10 church and one-third belonged to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, to
11 the Eastern church. And then in the beginning of the 13th century, the
12 Serbs established their own national church, the Serb Orthodox church and
13 it became equal to other Orthodox churches. Then most of the Serb
14 Catholics also joined this national church, except for the Serb Catholics
15 on the seacoast and in the islands from northern Albania to Omis, close to
16 Split. In this entire territory, it was Serb Catholics who lived there.
17 When the Serbs became Turkish slaves, this happened gradually. We were
18 defeated in the battle of Kosovo in 1389. It wasn't all of Serbia that
19 was occupied straight away. The Turkish sultan was killed there too. The
20 Serb state became a vassal state within the Turkish empire. That is why
21 this taking of Serbia by the Turks was more gradual than in the case of
22 Turkish penetration into Hungary and other European countries. The Serbs
23 remained living in this area. As a matter of fact, they had a high agree
24 of autonomy even once Serbia had been occupied, because the Turks in
25 peacetime tried to portray themselves as being religiously tolerant.
1 The Roman Catholic Church saw the collapse of the Serb state as
2 its chance to move east, and they made every effort to Catholicise as many
3 Serbs as possible and was assisted by Austria, Hungary, and by Venice.
4 Whenever there was famine in Dalmatia, large quantities of wheat were
5 brought in and Serbs were told that their children would not go hungry if
6 they became Catholics. You would get wheat, that is what they told them.
7 Serb literature abounds in such examples. In the Austrian Empire, a Serb
8 could not become a high-ranking officer unless he converted to
9 Catholicism, the same happened in the Republic of Venice. So that is how
10 systematically, over the centuries, Serbs were Catholicised.
11 In the beginning of the 19th century, there was no Croatian
12 people. There was a certain autonomy in Austria, but it was reduced to
13 three districts: Zagreb, Varazdin, Krizevci, so that is present-day
14 Zagreb and its outskirts, but even that is not the real Croatia, the real
15 Croatia was between Cetina, Gvozd, and Sava. Under the Turks, it
16 collapsed, it disappeared. Croats moved to Austria, today they live in
17 the so-called Gradiste region near Vienna. The present-day president of
18 Slovakia is a Croat originally. There are villages where there are traces
19 of this Croatian language and where we know that Croats moved in the 16th
20 and 17th centuries. They moved to Europe because they fled from the
21 Turks. As the Turks engaged in looting expeditions in those territories
22 that they did not manage to occupy, so they looted these areas and they
23 captured people. The Croats simply disappeared.
24 The Croatian nobility was moved from Hungary to the area around
25 Zagreb. The Slovenes happened to be here but then the Croatian nobility
1 was imposed on them. People to this day speak Kajkavian to this day and
2 they imposed the name of Croats on them, on these Slovenes. In the time
3 of growing national awareness in Europe in the beginning of the 19th
4 centuries, the Croats were not there. There is no Croatian movement in
5 the first half of the 19th century. There's the Ilirian movement that was
6 headed by Ljudevit Gaj, a German. With the assistance of the Vienna court
7 he wanted to rally together in a single national movement as many Serbs as
8 possible; however, the name of Serbian movement was not right because of
9 the newly established Serbian state. So he took out of the distant past
10 the Ilirian name although we Slavs have nothing to do with the Ilirians
11 because the Ilirians went extinct long before Christ. So this term did
12 not really live among the people.
13 Their first publications came out in the Kajkavian language, that
14 is to say in Slovenian, and it was reduced to Zagreb, Varazdin, and
15 Krizevci, those areas. Then there was a new initiative, the Yugoslavia
16 idea. The protagonist was Bishop Strossmayer again originally a German,
17 on the instructions of the Austrian court. We are going to bring all
18 Serbs together, the Orthodox and the Catholic; however, under this
19 Yugoslav name in order to have a differentiation vis-a-vis the state of
20 Serbia which later turned into the Kingdom of Serbia. The Croats didn't
21 really have a real national movement in the 19th century. It's only
22 towards the end of the 19th century that what started was a more intensive
23 Croatisation under the leadership of the Roman Catholic clergy and the
24 first Catholic Croatian congress was held in Zagreb in 1900. They
25 proclaimed that all of those who speak the Serbian language and who are
1 Catholic by religion are Croats, or rather, that in the Balkans all
2 Catholics were Croats. That is when this artificial Croatisation started
3 and this led to a big problem. All of this was done artificially, I
4 explained all of this and documented all of this in my book and supported
5 each and every one of these theses with argumentation.
6 What should be borne in mind in this context is that the first
7 project of the Serb lands already in 1683 was offered by Count Djordje
8 Brankovic to the Austrian empire. This is after the great Vienna war when
9 the Austrian army got all the way to Skopje in the south when all of
10 Hungary was liberated. The Austrian empire agreed to that and he even
11 appointed Count Brankovic the Serb despot. According to Byzantine
12 tradition, it was the position of viceroy when compared to Western
13 tradition. However, since Austria did not manage to carry through all of
14 its ambitions and after General Piccolomini's death they had to withdraw
15 and Djordje Brankovic was isolated in the town of Heb in the Czech lands.
16 Arsenije Gagovic, the leader of the Piva monastery, presented to the
17 representatives of the Russian state the project that he would call a
18 Greater Serbia that would encompass all the Serbs in the Balkans. A
19 similar plan was sent by the Serb metropolitan priest Stevan Stanimirovic
20 in 1804 to the Russian empire.
21 The Prosecution made an effort to link up Garasanin to the
22 Nacertanije of Ilija Garasanin -- although it advocates the Serb people
23 but it only pertains to Serb lands under Turkish occupation, whereas the
24 project of a Greater Serbia insists on Serb territories that were under
25 Turkey and under Austria and under Hungary and under Venetian occupation
1 while the Republic of Venice was still there. So that's the difference.
2 I am going to slow down again. I am being cautioned. I get carried away
3 by telling this story, but I didn't want to write down everything that I
4 am going to tell you about today. I thought that perhaps in this way you
5 would be in a position to listen to me more carefully, if I tell you about
6 this in my own words.
7 As for the project of Greater Serbia Svetozar Miletic gave it
8 thought; then Serb radicals in Vojvodina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and
9 Slavonia; Stevan and Vladislav Kacanski published a newspaper called
10 Velika Srbija, Greater Serbia, in the 1880s and 1890s; then Dragutin Ilic,
11 the brother of Vojislav Ilic, one of Serbia's greatest poets published a
12 daily newspaper, Greater Serbia, in 1903.
13 For three years, this daily newspaper was published at the
14 Salonika front as well in 1916 and 1917 and 1918. And in the 1920s the
15 Serb Radical Party in Belgrade published Velika Srbija for a number of
16 years. A Greater Serbia was also advocated by intellectuals around the
17 Serbian Intellectual Club and also some members of the Ravna Gora movement
18 were supporters of Greater Serbia, but this was never the official policy
19 of the movement as a whole because the Ravna Gora movement insisted on the
20 renewal of a comprehensive Yugoslavia and its leadership General Dragoljub
21 Mihaljovic headed the royal army in the homeland. The people popularly
22 called them the Chetniks, this army, because their military operations in
23 the beginning of the Second World War were based on the Chetnik guerilla
25 Therefore, the concept of a Greater Serbia has nothing to do with
1 either Slobodan Milosevic or any other personage who is named in this
2 indictment as a participant in the joint criminal enterprise linked with
3 me. The concept of a Greater Serbia in 1990 was renewed by us as the Serb
4 Chetnik Movement, as the Serb Radical Movement and started printing the
5 paper Velika Srbija, Greater Serbia, and there have been 3.000 issues and
6 it has been published for the last 17 years. It has many readers, perhaps
7 because we hand it out free of charge to the people.
8 I'd like to clarify one other point before the break so that I
9 could move on to the Prosecution's pre-trial brief after the break. I
10 have been accused of the fact that most of my crimes I carried out through
11 hate speech. The incrimination of hate speech has no precedent in
12 international criminal law. The Prosecution is not even able to define
13 what hate speech actually is. The Council of Europe has been dealing with
14 hate speech since 2001 onwards, and several recommendations were made, the
15 essence of which is that hate speech should be avoided in the media, along
16 with insistence that in suppressing hate speech what should not be
17 resorted to were prison sentences for it, but other forms of ensuring that
18 hate speech is stopped and repressed. And the construct of hate speech
19 itself, the concept itself, is based on certain examples of the prevention
20 of expansion of racial hatred in Anglo-Saxon law.
21 When they attempted in England to expand the concept of racial
22 hatred and intolerance to religious hatred they came across difficulties
23 and the House of Lords did not pass the law project because it was
24 considered that it was an attack on free speech.
25 The Prosecution says that the concept of hate speech was applied
1 in the International Court for Rwanda. Yes, it was in several judgements
2 although I never received the judgements and they should have sent me the
3 judgements, everything that was quoted, they should have provided me in
4 the Serbian language so that I could deal with that, but they failed to do
5 this. So in Rwanda, the genocide was established, and that is not
6 challenged. 800.000 people were killed, almost an entire national group
7 was killed.
8 Genocide is different from any other war crime. It is different
9 in that with genocide you have to prove the dolus specialis in other
10 crimes you can use dolus eventualis but with genocide that is strict. You
11 have to have the dolus specialis proved. For somebody to be accused of
12 genocide, you must prove the genocidal intent directly, whether we're
13 dealing with people who killed directly or who issued orders that others
14 be killed. And people were sentenced there because they called over the radio
15 for the killing of the Tutsis. Or for example a mayor of a town from all the
16 Tutsis had been killed and exterminated, he incited people to these
17 killings. And so on and so forth. So people in power who called for the
18 liquidation of an ethnic group of its own citizens.
19 That did not happen in the Balkans, there was none of that. There
20 was no genocide, and you cannot ascribe to me any direct incitement to the
21 commission of war crimes, never, nowhere. You have to incite it directly,
22 immediately, because after the incitement you come to action. There must
23 be action. It must be acted upon, and not several months later and
24 several years later and so on and so forth. And the most important point
25 is this: The genocide in Rwanda took place in 1994. So you cannot rely
1 on the practice of the International Tribunal for Rwanda who tried war
2 crimes that happened after my alleged crimes. The Prosecution has to
3 refer and rely to something that happened earlier. The Prosecution cannot
4 find an example of that. It's doing its best, it's trying to, and it
5 refers to the Nuremberg trial. For example, in the Nuremberg trial, it
6 was not an international trial in the proper sense, it was a military
7 court by the victory powers, and only four powers there, Russia, or
8 rather, the Soviet Union; America; France; and England. Some states that
9 were participants in the anti-Hitler coalition ask that their judges take
10 part but that was rejected. Yugoslavia also asked but its proposal was
12 Now, of course, I say that it wasn't a court in the true sense of
13 the word because there was no appeals. There was just the judgement and
14 liquidation followed. However, I agree that all those convicted deserved
15 their sentence, so from the moral standpoint these crimes were indeed
16 proved. A man called Julius Streicher was tried, for instance, and he was
17 the Obergruppenfuhrer of the SA, that is to say, a high-ranking
18 functionary of the paramilitaries of the Nazi party, and he was proclaimed
19 the number one persecutor of the Jews, the main persecutor of the Jews,
20 and he kept calling for the liquidation of the Jews, the Holocaust. He
21 personally took part in toppling and destroying the synagogues. He used a
22 riding crop to beat the Jews that had been taken prisoner.
23 He destroyed the synagogue in Nuremberg personally and was one of
24 the main organizers of what was called Crystal Night. So Julius Streicher
25 was not sentenced for a verbal crime, but for the extermination of the
1 Jews when genocide was not a term in international law. The convention on
2 genocide was enacted only after World War II, but what was spoken about at
3 the time was the extermination of the Jews. So how can the Prosecution
4 compare me to him? However, the Prosecution intentionally seems to be
5 forgetting that somebody else was tried there, and that was Hans Fritzsche
6 who was one of the main chiefs of propaganda, Goebbels's right-hand man of
7 the German Reich. Hans Fritzsche was the head of the radio department of
8 the Ministry of Propaganda, and he directly supervised 2.300 journalists,
9 all the papers published in Germany at that time under the Nazi
10 authorities was supervised by him. Hans Fritzsche after Goebbels was the
11 principal protagonist of the Reich, and he was freed, although he
12 advocated Reich policy in all the media and the racial policy and
13 totalitarian policy and all the rest, the policy to conquer. How then can
14 the Nuremberg judgement be a fulcrum point for the Prosecution?
15 What also happened is this: A Soviet member of the International
16 Criminal Tribunal Major Nikitchenko had as a dissenting opinion, he did
17 not agree, he expressed his disagreement with the freeing of Fritzsche and
18 it's very interesting to note and to look at the arguments he put forward
19 in his dissenting opinion against the freeing of Fritzsche. American,
20 French, and the other judge rejected these arguments and Fritzsche was
21 acquitted. I'm not sure that I'm going to have time to go through all
22 this and present it to you here because I would like to speak about
23 something that I think is far more important, but if there is time left
24 over at the end, I would like to go back to this and I have certain
25 excerpts from the dissenting opinions and arguments put forward by Judge
1 Nikitchenko which is three and a half pages of dense text. So I see that
2 we're nearing the break. We've been going for an hour and a half, so I
3 don't want that to reduce my time for other matters too much.
4 However, as regards hate speech, I would have something to add
5 after the break. I hope that that makes it exactly an hour and a half.
6 Is that right?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is now 10.30. As a rule, we
8 have a 20-minute break, but I think we shall have a 15-minute break from
9 now on. As you have the floor, how much time do you need to have a rest?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, ten minutes is enough for me,
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, we will have a
13 15-minute break.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are resuming our hearing.
17 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm going to serve you more words,
19 Judges, about the incrimination of speech hate.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Hate speech, interpreter's correction.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Because it's a new crime just
22 conjured up which never existed before in international customary law and
23 it cannot exist, or rather, physical perpetration through hate speech does
24 not exist. I'm going to quote two cases drawn from American legal
25 practice, court practice: Brandenberg versus Ohio. The Supreme Court of
1 the United States of America on the 9th of June, 1969, drew the following
2 conclusion that inciting conduct contrary to the law is not a crime but
3 direct incitement to commit a crime is and Chaplinsky versus New Hampshire
4 says a speech which is directly or must immediately result in violence for
5 it to be considered.
6 Now, attempting to accuse me of using hate speech to perpetrate a
7 crime, the representative of the indictment relies on quotations from my
8 speeches taken out of context, and I'd like to remind you of the famous
9 statement made by the French cardinal, Cardinal Richelieu, "Just give me
10 one sentence," he said, "taken out of any text and I will find in its
11 sufficient reason to send the author thereof to the guillotine." I'm
12 paraphrasing maybe it's not word for word what the Cardinal said, but
13 anyway. But the inciter must know the individual who he is inciting.
14 Incitement must be premeditated. There is no chance incitement or
15 inducement without premeditation.
16 Now, in the indictment and in the pre-trial brief, not only do we
17 lack a definition of hate speech, but also we lack concrete crimes
18 committed through hate speech. Various crimes are enumerated here,
19 perpetrated by who knows whom in who knows what location, but there's not
20 a single crime, a single criminal act perpetrated by my hate speech which
21 represents direct incitement to commit a crime.
22 Furthermore, there is no objective or subjective link between the
23 associates, accomplices. Very often there is no direct perpetrator
24 either, despite the fact that there is no concrete incitement to a set
25 crime, there's no assistance and help in carrying it out. There's no
1 joint criminal enterprise, there's none of that there. And criminal law
2 cannot be interpreted by analogy to the detriment of the accused.
3 I now like to refer to the last portion of the pre-trial brief of
4 the Prosecution which is a broader version of the indictment itself, I
5 don't want to waste time looking at the indictment first and then this.
6 So I'll go through it point by point to show you how this does not
7 correspond to the facts, to the truth, and that it is not founded or
8 grounded on any rightful premise. In the first point, it says that at the
9 relevant time I was one of the most prominent politicians in the former
10 Yugoslavia and wielded considerable political power and influence. That
11 is absolutely untrue. My political party was not registered at all in
12 1990. In 1990 I was imprisoned three times for demonstrating,
13 demonstrations, because those demonstrations and rallies were not -- did
14 not suit the regime and for some other reasons, too, but of an exclusively
15 political nature.
16 Now, how someone who has no parliamentary political party can have
17 significant political power and influence I don't know. In 1991, the
18 Serbian Radical Party was registered; however, right up until the month of
19 July that same year, we were a party outside parliament. At some
20 additional elections that were held in Belgrade district at the end of
21 June 1991 I was elected as deputy, national deputy, and throughout that
22 same year, 1991, and throughout 1992, I was the sole deputy of the Serb
23 Radical Party in parliament, which numbers 250 members. So my political
24 influence and power could be expressed in the ratio of 1:250.
25 I'm saying all this just to illustrate how much seriousness the
1 Prosecution lacks, and this applies to me and the joint criminal
2 enterprise. How could I have taken part in the formulation, planning, and
3 execution of the JCE? I suppose while Milosevic held me in prison; is
4 that it? Well, I did plan various enterprises, but none of them with him
5 at the time. I planned toppling him from power. And had the aim been of
6 that enterprise to expel forcibly thousands of non-Serbs from their homes,
7 that is quite untrue. Throughout 1990, 1991, and 1992 in all my political
8 speeches, in striving for a Greater Serbia, and mentioning the territories
9 that Greater Serbia should comprise, I speak about brotherhood and unity
10 of the Serbs, the Orthodox Serbs, Serb Catholics, Serb Muslims, and Serb
11 Protestants, and that is what I was doing and am doing as a member of the
12 opposition, not as a man belonging to the regime right up until 1988, I
13 was never a man of the regime.
14 It is nebulous to read in point 2 that under my leadership and the
15 leadership of my co-perpetrators, civilian and paramilitary organs
16 participated in the taking over of power throughout Croatia and Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina. It means that the JNA and the army and the police were under
18 my direction, if I had that much influence and power over the army and the
19 police, I would have taken over power back in 1991. What would I have
20 been waiting for? If under all that was under my direction, I wouldn't
21 have needed elections in the first place.
22 The secret arming of Serb civilians. Who did that? Where would I
23 get the arms to secretly arm Serbian civilians? The proclamation of
24 autonomous regions in Croatia and the Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 administrative unit. The people spontaneously did that. Who would have
1 been able to force such a mass of people to a certain political conduct if that
2 people had not felt under threat for various reasons? When Tudjman came to
3 power, immediately the iconography of Ustashas was renewed all over
4 Croatia, and it was well-known, that iconography, to the Serbian people.
5 In Croatian parliament a speaker comes to the floor and makes the Ustasha
6 salute. In the middle of Croatian parliament. What else could Serbs
8 Back in 1941 Serbs waited to be genocide, sitting on their hands.
9 Who could have expected Roman Catholic clerics to take up arms and start
10 slaughtering them? Nobody could have been known that and nobody could
11 after the Second World War, none among the Serbs could wait silently for
12 that to happen to them again.
13 There is a reference to the systematic cleansing of the Muslim, Croatian and
14 other non-Serb population in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Where was this
15 systematic cleansing? I don't rule out the possibility that there were
16 criminal acts of persecution in these territories, but it was a civil war.
17 The civil war happened between Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Serbs, and Muslim
18 Serbs and the very fact that this war happened, that fact in itself led to
19 huge movements of population, people left to go to places where they would
20 feel safer. Like in every civil war crimes happened, but every crime has
21 a name, a qualification. There is not a single crime for which we would
22 not be able to find the name of the perpetrator and the name of his
23 accomplices on any grounds.
24 What are the restrictive measures and discriminatory measures that
25 I introduced in those territories against the non-Serb population and
1 where would I have taken the power? If I didn't have power in a place, I
2 couldn't do anything but speak.
3 As far as my specific elements of responsibility are concerned, it
4 is said first that I led to the perpetration of crimes by systematic and
5 public propaganda of crimes in territories which are better known as
6 Greater Serbia, delineated by the line
7 Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica, and it comprised large parts of
8 Croatia. If Yugoslavia was able to break up, it could have broken up into
9 its integral parts, the Serb territory on the one hand and the Croat and
10 Slovene territory on the other hand. What other territories would be
11 involved? Why would it break up along the lines of internal borders of
12 administrative units? Those borders were never formulated by any internal
13 law. They were not internationally recognised. Internationally
14 recognised borders belonged only to Yugoslavia. Those were guaranteed by
15 the OSCE conference, and that right of Yugoslavia was trampled.
16 It's not possible to simply promote new borders instead of those
17 real ones, instead of the internationally recognised ones, that is
18 contrary to the basic principles of international law. It is said that by
19 public and systematic causing of fear among Serbs, I made Serbs believe
20 that Serbs -- that Croats, Muslims, and other non-Serbs were their
21 enemies, which led to violence and incitement of crimes cited in the
22 indictment. Why would I be causing fear and hatred when all that was
23 already happening? The very fact that the first Croatian official
24 pronounced that Croatia would secede from Yugoslavia caused both fear and
25 hatred. If Tudjman had not moved to secede with Croatia, there would have
1 been no war. Tudjman said himself that there would have been no war had
2 Croats not wanted it. That statement of Tudjman's was quoted many times.
3 If there had been no Croatian separatism, there would have been no war.
4 There would have been great trouble, political trouble, within the state
5 in order to settle all the interrelationships for all interests to be
6 satisfied, but that is a matter of political process. Those who wanted to
7 secede with Croatia, they caused war; those who wanted to secede with
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina, they caused war.
9 As for the naming of Serb enemies, I was only speaking of
10 historical facts. It is a historical fact that Croats were very pliable
11 and susceptible to manipulation by the Roman Catholic church. In the
12 Second World War Croats were loyal and sincere supporters of Hitler until
13 1943. They started turning coat only when they realised Hitler would lose the
14 war and then they started joining partisan detachments. Very few Croats were
15 genuine antifascists in 1941. The uprising against Hitler and his allies
16 happened only in territories populated by Orthodox Serbs.
17 In the Second World War, the Muslims were instrumentalised by
18 Croats, and to a large extent they participated in Croat crimes, but not
19 all Muslims. There were also Muslims partisans and Muslim Chetniks.
20 There was a Chetnik Vojvoda, a Muslim, Ismet Pupovac, he had a detachment
21 of 2.000 Muslim Chetniks, and the vice-president of the national committee
22 of the Ravna Gora Movement of Draza Mihajlovic, was another Muslim,
23 Mustafa Mulalic. After the war, the Communists tried him together with
24 Draza Mijhajlovic. I only presented the historical truth; that historical
25 truth must not be concealed. It must be repeated over and over again, it
1 must be explained, and further researched in order to serve as a lesson
2 for the future.
3 Wherever historical truth is concealed, peoples and nations are
4 condemned to having history repeat itself.
5 By recruiting, organizing, financing, supporting, directing,
6 encouraging, instigating Serb volunteers, that's what they say. I really
7 organized and rallied Serb volunteers and as the president of the Serb
8 Radical Party, I did that. The Serbian Chetnik Movement was part of the
9 party and I did send them to the front line; they participated in the
10 fighting. However, some things need to be clearly distinguished here.
11 The volunteers of the Serb Radical Party were called Serb Chetniks, but
12 they were not the only Serb Chetniks in this war. Serb opponents called
13 all Serb enemies Chetniks. They called Chetniks members of the Serbian
14 Renewal Party, the SDS, and God knows what other political parties. There
15 was a huge identification of Serbs with Chetniks on a large scale. Nobody
16 wanted to identify them with the victorious partisans from the Second
17 World War. I can have at least moral responsibility for what might have
18 been done by the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party during the war.
19 Those who were rallied by the Serb Radical Party in Belgrade and who were
20 sent by the Serb Radical Party to the front.
21 But that formulation must be limited only to that, not to all
22 Chetniks. Whenever somebody is named as a Chetnik somewhere, he
23 automatically is a Seselj's man. What does that mean? After this --
24 after this trial is over, the Judges and everybody who works here might
25 become Seselj's men, and I will even try to achieve that, but what does
1 that really mean? The volunteers of the Serb Radical Party participated
2 in the war exclusively within the units of the Yugoslav People's Army, and
3 later the Serb army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and the Serb army
4 of Republika Srpska. An insignificant number was in the police of the
5 Republic of Serbian Krajina and in the police of Republika Srpska.
6 Only up to July 1991 the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party went
7 to the front line in circumvention of the JNA. I’m proud of their great victory
8 on 2 May 1991 in Borovo Selo, over the Croatian police which had launched a
9 sudden attack on the village. Since Croatia entered the war in
10 July 1991, nowhere was there a single volunteer of the Serb Radical Party
11 who participated in the war outside of a JNA unit. The army designated
12 one barracks for the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party in Bubanj Potok
13 near Belgrade. We rallied volunteers and sent them there. They passed
14 basic training there, they received uniforms. Every volunteer of the Serb
15 Radical Party had years of service written into his military service book.
16 Nowhere ever was there a volunteer of the Serb Radical Party identified as
17 a direct perpetrator of a war crime, and I will show that. Never a single
18 one. I repeat that.
19 Now, it is also said in the pre-trial brief that I encouraged and
20 incited and instigated volunteers and groups and individuals within the
21 Serb forces, the Territorial Defence, the Army of Republika Srpska, the
22 Army of the Serbian Krajina, the State Security Service, Martic's police
23 force, militias, et cetera, and that I encouraged and incited them. To
24 what? That I encouraged and incited them to commit crimes? How? If I
25 encouraged them, then I encouraged them to win the war. I never
1 encouraged anyone to commit crimes. There are abundant examples of my
2 speeches and addresses to the troops, where I said how they should be
3 chivalrous in the war, how they should treat prisoners, women, children,
4 et cetera, and the Prosecution has that, I submitted it to them back in
5 2003, it's even translated into English, but they don't care. They could
6 care less that they have it. It says that I coordinated the activities of
7 volunteers and other Serb institutions who committed crimes. Now, look,
8 the Serb Radical Party had its own Crisis Staff which was later renamed
9 War Staff and the Prosecutor keeps referring and invoking that War Staff.
10 What did that War Staff do? You will best know that if you look at its
11 composition. Those were 10 to 15 men, among them four to five women, only
12 one officer - and even he was a reserve officer, a retired pilot,
13 Zoran Drazilovic - whereas all the other men had only completed the
14 regular military service and none of them was commissioned. What was that
15 War Staff able to do, to command?
16 No. They organized the rallying of volunteers throughout Serbia,
17 their transportation to Belgrade, to the barracks in Bubanj Potok. That
18 War Staff made efforts to sometimes find a necessary supply of cigarettes
19 and other supplies. That War Staff made sure that years of service are
20 counted for every member to organize funerals, aid to the family of the
21 fallen one, et cetera. That War Staff sometimes tried, if there were
22 occasions of lack of discipline, to use political and moral measures to
23 help solve problems. That War Staff did not have power. The only
24 sanction they could mete out was to exclude the person from the Serb
25 Radical Party; there was no other punishment available. But there were no
1 significant breaches of discipline. We excluded that person from the
2 Serb Radical Party, and anybody who stole something somewhere, who was a
3 drunk, who was indisciplined would be excluded from the party and would
4 never be able to go to a front line again as a volunteer. We were never
5 officially informed that a serious crime had been committed, and the
6 Prosecution has no evidence of that.
7 Now, since the Prosecution is short of evidence for these two
8 first years concerning specific crimes, persecution, et cetera, they
9 introduced the case of Hrtkovci from Vojvodina into the indictment for
10 political reasons, and they say that I publicly called for the expulsion
11 of Croat residents from parts of Vojvodina. It didn't exactly happen that
12 way. I did not publicly call for their expulsion. I promised their
13 expulsion once I get to power. I promised measures of reciprocity because
14 Tudjman had already expelled 200.000 Serbs from the territory under his
15 control, and on behalf of my party in the election campaign I launched as
16 one of my electoral promises the application of measures of reciprocity.
17 If I called on someone to apply a reciprocity, I called upon the
18 then-regime, and Milosevic's MP, MPs opposed me in parliament when I made
19 that demand. The Prosecution would like to show here that I directly
20 called on people to start persecuting other people. Now, that is the kind
21 of falsifying that the Prosecution engages in. I will deal with that in
22 greater detail later.
23 You see on page 5 that they quote from one of my speeches, where I
24 said what this Greater Serbia should encompass, and then they omit the
25 unity and harmony among Serbs, Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Serbs, Muslim
1 Serbs, and atheist Serbs, and they go on to present a bit of one of my
2 speeches from end 1990, a warning I issued. "And as far as Croatia is
3 concerned, we the Serb Chetniks are constantly telling the new Ustasha
4 leader Franjo Tudjman and the new Ustasha authorities in Croatia not to
5 play games with the Serbian people living in the area of the present
6 improvised Croatian state community, that is, the Serb territory." That
7 is on page 5 of the pre-trial brief of the Prosecution, I'm saying this
8 for the interpreters because they are cautioning me for my speed. You
9 have that in English and in French.
10 In this way I seem to have committed yet another crime. When did
11 that happen? In late 1990. At the end of 1990, through a single speech
12 of mine, I made someone act in a particular way in 1991, 1992, 1993, and
13 commit a war crime? That defies sanity. In 1990 I cautioned Tudjman not
14 to play games with the Serb people and that we will not allow territories
15 where the Serb people lived to secede from the mainstream, Yugoslavia. I
16 am giving him a timely warning not to play with weapons. I want him to
17 prevent a war. I'm warning him -- I'm even threatening him, hoping that
18 he will give up on that idea of his.
19 Furthermore, another speech of mine from that period of time is
20 quoted. "The most important thing is that the Croats and Slovenes do not
21 leave the Yugoslav Federation. First the Slovenes should leave and then
22 those who are in authority in Belgrade will carry out an amputation along
23 the Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica."
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters please have a page
25 reference to the text that is read out.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So we are talking about 1990. I see
2 that it is hard to preserve Yugoslavia and then I have this clever idea.
3 If the Slovenes and Croats have to leave, let the Slovenes leave first but
4 there are no unresolved, unsettled matters between us. First I oppose the
5 army intervention in Slovenia. The army intervention and bloodshed in
6 Slovenia were caused by the then-minister of defence Veljko Kadijevic and
7 Ante Markovic, the then-federal prime minister, a Croat, they wanted to
8 keep Slovenia in Yugoslavia by force. I was opposed to that. As a
9 democrat, I though that if the Slovenian people wanted to leave, that they
10 should leave as soon as possible. However, the Western powers did not
11 allow that, they wanted the Slovenes, and the Croats to leave together, as
12 a package deal, in order to attain the criminal objective of Germany and
13 Vatican that Croatia lives within the boundaries imposed by the communist
14 regime. Now, that could not happen. If the Croats did not want to live
15 in Yugoslavia, then only an amputation could be carried out. Amputation
16 was not my idea. Even King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic gave thought to that
17 in 1929. He then believed that if the Croats didn't want Yugoslavia,
18 Yugoslavia can do without them, an amputation can be carried out. Why
19 would this idea be illegitimate, why would this idea be a criminal one?
20 Especially if uttered in 1990.
21 Again a quotation of mine that I'm proud of to this day. "The
22 Croats can, as far as we are concerned, leave Yugoslavia as they please,
23 whenever they want." So I am not forcing Croats to leave Yugoslavia. If
24 they want to leave," why would they keep them in Yugoslavia by force? And
25 then I say here: "Whenever they want, but we are openly letting them know
1 that they will not take away a foot of Serbian territory, not one piece of
2 land where there are Serb villages, destroyed Serb churches, Serbian mass
3 graves, Serbian camps, Serbian Jasenovac. If we allowed that, we would be
4 unworthy of our glorious ancestors, and we would have to be ashamed in
5 front of our descendents. The Croats can create their own state but only
6 west of the Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica line. Everything east of
7 that line is Serbian."
8 That's what I think to this day. Unfortunately, we did not have
9 the right kind of political and military leverage to achieve that because
10 there were two great powers against us. If I were in charge of the army,
11 I would have ordered the army to leave Slovenia on time, to withdraw from
12 the territories of Croatia wherein Serbs did not leave, and then I would
13 say to the Croats, If you want to go on living in Yugoslavia, we're going
14 to build Yugoslavia together as a democratic state with full civil rights
15 and equality of rights. If you want to secede, you can secede with that
16 territory. What was more logical than that at that point in time? There
17 is just one single problem. Destiny, history did not allow me to come to
18 power on time. That is the only power -- the only problem involved. Had
19 I come to power on time, everything would have been different. I was even
20 persuading the Slovenians to leave as soon as possible and the Prosecutor
21 quotes that. To you Slovenians, Serbia is a very serious unbeatable power
22 because the Slovenes were pretending to be heroes, they said that they
23 were warriors, whatever. They would never have had a state had Serbia not
24 liberated them in the First World War. Before 1918 Slovenia never had
25 statehood of its own as Slovenia. They were only Austrian dukedoms until
2 You see that Serbs are still showing goodwill. After that you
3 won't be able to. After that we are going to create Serboslavia out of
4 Yugoslavia. I am convincing the Slovenians to leave as early as possible
5 for a simple, rational reason. If the Slovenes leave it's going to be
6 easier for us to agree on how Yugoslavia will remain because the political
7 elite, the political leadership of Slovenia in the 1980s was the main
8 disruptive factor of Yugoslavia. They wanted Yugoslavia to grow into a
9 confederation, they wanted all sorts of things that were unacceptable.
10 From this year, 1990, the Prosecutor gives some other quotations
11 about my threats, about cause for punishment and so on, all of my threats
12 are conditional, though. If such and such a thing happens, then another
13 thing will happen. So these are words of warning, not of instigation,
14 because if it had to do with instigation then it led to events that
15 happened years after that or months after that. I say that quite clearly
16 at one particular point. That is when I spoke on state television in
17 December 1990.
18 I explain here how Croats have to be punished from crimes from the
19 Second World War if they opt for separatism. They should be punished in a
20 manner in which nations and states are punished in a civilised world for
21 crimes committed by their regimes during wars, that being the loss of
22 territories. There are many other things I say there, but the Prosecution
23 omits that. "We Serbs are a chivalrous people. We do not take revenge
24 against women and children, we do not carry out genocide. We do not kill.
25 If we take revenge, we take revenge by having our enemies lose their
1 territories by vanquishing them in a war if they impose war on us."
2 But we did not want that war. In 1990 and 1991 no one among the
3 Serb people wanted war, not a single person. War is what those who wanted
4 to secede from Yugoslavia wanted.
5 "Now they say that I underestimated the Serb -- the Croatian
6 people when I as I say that Franjo Tudjman nowadays has 80.000 Ustasha
7 specials armed to the teeth. That is no force to match for us Serbs.
8 Well, it is no match for us, no match whatsoever." Even today the Serb
9 Krajina should be free if the Americans had not taken part in the
10 aggression in 1995. Even now Kosovo would be under Serb control had it
11 not been for an American aggression. Even today Bosnia-Herzegovina would
12 have been within our joint state regardless of whether it was called a
13 Greater Yugoslavia, Serbia, whatever, had there not been for outside
14 interference of Americans, Germans, Vatican, and so on and so forth.
15 Then I caution as follows: "Bosnian pan-Islamists," page 7, all
16 of this within paragraph 7, "could the Bosnian pan-Islamists fight a war
17 against us Serbs? Recently we told them, do not let the Muslim majority
18 become a tool of Croatia like it did in the First World War and the Second
19 World War. Beware and do not interfere in the Serbo-Croat conflict. If
20 the Croats use you again Serbian revenge will be terrible and you will end
21 up farther than Anatolia. You will not even stop there."
22 This is a warning from 1991 when there was no war in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I am giving this warning on time, and I am saying to
24 the Bosnian pan-Islamists, not Muslims as a whole, that they will not even
25 stop in Anatolia.
1 I was the first one to indicate what the danger of pan-Islamist
2 tendencies in Bosnia-Herzegovina was as early as the beginning of the
3 1980s, but you will never find me anywhere humiliating the Islamic faith,
4 underrating the Islamic faith. I am full of respect for the Islamic
5 faith, but I am a bitter opponent to all kinds of fundamentalism. At the
6 moment it is Islamic fundamentalism that is the most dangerous but if
7 there were to be Christian fundamentalism somewhere I would be bitterly
8 opposed to that too. Here I am talking about pan-Islamists, and I talk
9 about fundamentalists and so on.
10 Most importantly, a year before the war in Bosnia, I am warning
11 that that war should not take place. I am acting as a peace-maker.
12 Unfortunately, they did not listen to me. Why did they not listen to me?
13 Not because I was powerful and strong at that time, but at that time they
14 did not consider me to be serious enough to be listened to. They were
15 underrating me, they were saying communist dissident, spending all this
16 time in prison, and so on and so forth. Quite a bit of time had to go by
17 before I became politically influential and powerful, but not then. I
18 needed to prove myself for a long time before that happened.
19 Then another warning. All of those who have an unclear conscience
20 should fear us Serbs. To this day people with an unclear conscience
21 should fear us Serbs, they have reason to fear us. We Serbs have
22 forgotten and forgiven too much in history. We have told the Croats,
23 should they ever again resort to genocidal activities against the Serbian
24 people, not only shall we avenge every victim but we shall also settle
25 scores for the victims from World War II and World War I. If we are not
1 present in some villages or we are unable to defend them we shall take
2 revenge wherever the Croats are the weakest. Quite simply, we speak the
3 language of force, the language of power.
4 It's a warning, it's not a call for the Serbs to kill Croats, I'm
5 not saying kill women and children, kill Croats, no, it's a warning.
6 There were even some warnings that I said by way of a joke. Once I made
7 an interview to some newspapers saying that we have river submarines, we
8 the Chetniks, and that we are going to take one of those and go all the
9 way to Zagreb, but all of that was by way of a warning because of this
10 danger against a new genocide against the Serbs. It was a very real one.
11 All factors were on the political scene, all of those that have carried
12 out genocide during the Second World War. The Roman Catholic Church with
13 the same kind of policy, the Ustasha ideology, the Ustasha regime of
14 Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb. Well, he even brought in the most hardened
15 Ustasha émigrés as soon as he came to power in Zagreb. Susak,
16 one of them, was his minister of defence, the leader of the Ustasha
17 emigres in Canada.
18 So my words were strong, but adequate in terms of the historical
19 context in which they were uttered. It was not possible to issue a milder
20 warning at that time because it wouldn't have had the right effect.
21 Unfortunately, this did not have an effect either. This proved to be in
22 vain as well. Yet again, I issue a threat. "Should they attempt a new
23 genocide against the Serb people" - I'm referring to paragraph 8 - "we
24 shall take revenge for each Serbian life and we shall also ask to pay up
25 for crimes" et cetera. But I also said what our revenge would consist of.
1 It's not that we're going to do the same things the Ustashas did to the
3 And I threaten, for example, “the Chetniks are going to strike at Zagreb
4 using their full strength if there is a massacre of Serbian civilian
5 population.” So there was this real threat against the Serbs.
6 It is not in vain that 200.000 Serbs immediately fled
7 from Croatia as soon as Tudjman came to power. Repressive measures
8 against the Serbs started immediately, layouts, mistreatment, et cetera.
9 The question in this war is who started the killing. It's the Croats who
10 started killing the Serbs, it's the Muslims in Bosnia who started killing
11 the Serbs. They killed a bride-groom's father before the old Serb church
12 in Sarajevo during the wedding. A Muslim criminal walked up and killed
13 the bride-groom's father. That is what caused bloodshed and the conflict.
14 He remained unpunished. They only tried to bring him to court a few
15 months ago, a year ago, I don't know exactly, and I don't think he was
16 actually convicted. I didn't really follow the case.
17 Every Serb move, political or military, was always provoked from
18 the other side. Tudjman abolished the status of Serbs as a constituent
19 people, the Serbs asked for autonomy. Tudjman wants secession from
20 Yugoslavia, the Serbs ask to remain in Yugoslavia or to join Serbia,
21 that's what happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina too. As the separatist moves
22 of the Muslims and the Croats became more intensive, the Serbs made more
23 direct moves to dissociate themselves from that kind of separatist
24 government. When I say that "Bosnia is undoubtedly Serbian and if any
25 Muslim fundamentalists do not like that they will have to pack their suit
1 cases and leave on time," fundamentalists I say, never Muslims, whereas
2 the Prosecution has in its documentation my appeal to the Serbs of the
3 Islamic faith. It starts with the words "Brother Serbs ..." From 1990,
4 that was published in Greater Serbia, in my books, and so on and so forth
5 several times, where with great warmth and love I address the Muslims.
6 And I refer to the great names of great Muslim Serbs throughout history
7 who were aware of their ethnic identity. To this day all the noble
8 families among the Bosnian Muslims are aware of their origins, even
9 Alija Izetbegovic said he was a Serb in the 1950s and 1960s before the
10 Muslim nation was invented. His origins are from the town of Sabac near
11 Belgrade. One does not have to prove basic facts. You don't have to
12 prove -- now you're trying to prove to me that in addition to the Serbian
13 language, there is a Croatian language, there is a Bosnian language? That
14 is nebulous.
15 "The loyal population always enjoys all rights and human
16 freedoms." Where's the problem there? Then I issue another caution. I
17 say that the Croatian hordes are attacking Croatian villages. All this is
18 a true. In Osijek the chief of the Croatian police was killed because he
19 was opposed to the bestial conduct against the Serbs. They killed him
20 too. Who was the person there, who was the main person there, Glavas or
21 whoever? It's no longer important. That was the mood that prevailed, an
22 atmosphere of great fear and unrest, and my threats were in the sense of
23 warnings, cautions.
24 Of course throughout the time - and the army didn't want to listen
25 to me - to have the army withdraw on time from areas that were purely
1 Croatian and Slovenian and everything would have been much better had the
2 army withdrawn.
3 But the generals dreamt of something else, of preserving
4 Yugoslavia and their political power and influence. They even formed
5 their party along those lines, the League of Communists, the Movement for
6 Yugoslavia, the generals' party. All officers had to be members of that
8 Now the Prosecution speaks about my propaganda techniques. It's
9 all ludicrous, but as we're going to have their alleged expert witness
10 come in already in December, then it will be a cherry on the cake to
11 cross-examine him and to show him up as being no expert witness at all.
12 Now, the application of national stereotypes is what I'd like to
13 address next. It says the use of the concepts of Ustasha and Bosnian
14 pan-Islamists. They're no stereotypes, they're not stereotypes; it's
15 reality. The Ustasha ideology is very strong today and it will remain
16 strong until the Roman Catholic Church leads an intensive action against
17 the Serb people. Had we Serbs given up a hundred years ago and agreed to
18 be Catholics, the Croats today wouldn't exist at all. So 2 or 300 years
19 ago the Roman Catholic church sent Juraj Krizanic, a Serb of Catholic
20 faith, to Russia. He lived in Russia and the court there for 10 or 15
21 years and his assignment was to make the Russian court convert to
22 Catholicism and for the Russian church to recognise the authority of the
23 pope of Rome and then they would enable them to have power of all the
24 Slavs, and the Vatican was even ready to give up Poland and hand over the
25 whole of Poland to Russia just in order to have the Russian church convert
1 and come under its sovereignty.
2 So these are all very serious matters. In science it has been
3 proved, they have been proved, long since and they're not stereotypes at
4 all. This Ustasha ideology is active today as well. It's a little more
5 covert than it was in 1990 and 1991, but it's very strong today too.
6 As I spent a little more time on these matters of principle, I'll
7 have to speed up to get to the more concrete and specific issues which I'm
8 sure you might be more interested in, but let me just mention before I do
9 that this: The Prosecution says that in disseminating propaganda I had
10 the help of the public information media, which was controlled by another
11 participant in the joint criminal enterprise and that was
12 Slobodan Milosevic, the President of Serbia, that he enabled me access to
13 the information media.
14 In Belgrade there's a weekly called Vreme which began to be
15 published in the 1990s, and its journalists are CIA agents, agents of the
16 American intelligence service and as well as some other Western
17 intelligence services as well, and they are still published just because
18 they are funded from Soros and from abroad and similar anti-Serb
19 foundations. This magazine, Vreme, at the end of 1992 or 1993 published a
20 book. One of the authors was Jasminka Milivojevic, I can't remember the
21 other, but anyway, the book was called "The Screening of the Elections,"
22 and they performed an analysis of how far political parties were
23 represented in that year of 1992 on our screens, and they showed that of
24 the relevant political parties, the Serb Radical Party had the least
25 publicity in the media, especially in the state media, the media under the
1 control of the regime, the least. And those are exact facts. It's scholarly
2 investigation that led to these facts. In a hostile publication published there.
3 And the prosecution says that I basically had a privileged position in the media.
4 So I said -- as I said, I had the least presence in the media, as
5 did my party. But I was most effective in using the time placed at my
6 disposal by the media. Other people didn't know how to do that, to make
7 the best use of time, but what can I do if they don't know how to do that.
8 Each of those leaders, the pro-Western political parties, I always beat
9 them in a television duel. Every representative of the regime I got the
10 better of. I was never beaten in a television duel. I have not been
11 beaten to date. And so there you get the impression that the man is doing
12 wonders in the media and I'm very proud of that, because my thoughts are
13 clear, they're fairly concise, they are based on history and scholarly
14 investigation. I am well-known for never saying stupid things.
15 So what can I do? Nobody can match me. Djindjic, Kostunica,
16 Tadic, or anybody else, they're just not up to me, not even up to my
17 knees. I was blocked mostly by the regime media, it was Milosevic who
18 blocked me in the media my access to the media the most, especially during
19 the periods of time when I attacked him most. And I did attack him and I
20 always attacked him when he gave way to the Western forces. He gave way
21 to the Americans and then I get out the big guns and attack him and his
22 party and his regime and so on.
23 The Prosecution says that I was fully conscious of my ability to
24 influence people through my speech. Well, of course, every politician
25 does that, every politician tries to wield influence and influence people.
1 The success of a politician is measured by his ability to influence
2 people. Now, what was it that I influenced people with? By what I said.
3 Well, you can't use empty phrases alone, because people listened to
4 something humourous or a turn of phrase and then they've had enough. But
5 what a politician says must be relevant, intelligent, logical,
6 well-founded, and developed. That is the only way you can wield influence
7 on people. Mrs. Dahl yesterday held some sort of speech here and even
8 used some emotional notes, heart-rending stories. Can she influence
9 people? No, she cannot. Because she wasn't convincing. She didn't seem
10 intelligent to the broad masses of the population.
11 The people can differentiate between who is telling the truth and
12 who isn't, because truth comes out of someone's eyes. You can tell it in
13 their eyes, just as you can tell somebody when they're lying by looking
14 into their eyes. That's something you can do very frequently because a
15 person who is lying fidgets, touches his nose, looks down. There are
16 various forms of gesture that can tell you that a person is lying. But
17 they don't seem to like it that I have influence over the people. I'm
18 guilty for influencing people.
19 Furthermore it says that I said to my volunteers that they should
20 kill the Ustashas or Turks. They found some idiot among the witnesses, I
21 don't know who it is yet, but perhaps we'll see him appear in court, who
22 probably signed a statement for them to the effect that I called Muslims
23 or referred to the Muslims as the Turks. Never in my life did I call the
24 Bosnia-Herzegovinian Serb Muslims Turks, never ever. And there's not a
25 single shred of evidence to prove that, except perhaps some false witness
1 that the Prosecution might be bringing in. And if I heard any other
2 member of my party to say Turks, and that would happen from time to time,
3 I would put them right on that score straight away. So you have not a
4 shred of evidence to prove that.
5 Only somebody very primitive who knows nothing can refer to the
6 Bosnian Muslims as Turks. It is true that at times during history they
7 identified themselves with the Turks when the Turks ruled over Bosnia,
8 however the Turks have not been in power in Bosnia for a long time and the
9 Muslims have retained the Serbian language. They never managed to learn
10 Turkish, some of them might, one or another, but they left a long time ago
11 and their descendents live in Turkey today. But most of these people
12 never learned Turkish and most of the Muslims have kept alive the old Serb
13 traditions, songs, and all the rest.
14 The Prosecution also criticises me for having not only the
15 position of political authority but moral authority as well, that is
16 paragraph 21 that I am referring to now. Well, I assume that somebody
17 must be proud if they're considered to be a moral authority. Now, how did
18 I become a moral authority in the first place? Because I didn't give way
19 to injustice, the force of injustice, I never stole anything, did
20 anything, did anything that was amoral, that's how you become a moral
21 authority. You can't pretend you're a moral authority if you're not.
22 Moral authority is something that is built up over the years and decades
23 and I have been here in The Hague here and raised my moral authority
24 boundlessly while here in The Hague. And today even my greatest political
25 adversaries respect me for that, and so I'm very grateful to The Hague
1 Prosecutors for that, for raising my moral authority which is
2 indestructible now.
3 And now the Prosecution says, "Seselj knew or had reason to know
4 that his incitement and public speeches on the battleground will incite
5 and instigate volunteers and soldiers to commit crimes." That's very
6 shrewd at first glance on the part of the Prosecution. Well, violence
7 there's violence in every war. By definition, war is violence. Why did
8 not they write here to commit crimes, then that would have been clearer.
9 Yes, I did encourage Serb soldiers on all the fronts to fight
10 courageously and bravely, but there is not a single shred of evidence that
11 I incited crimes, incited them to crimes, and there is a lot of proof to
12 show that I was horrified over every crime and that I would criticise
13 other units for having committed -- if they committed crimes, I'm not
14 going to attack so-and-so because the Serb public opinion is full of proof
15 now. I'm not going to shift the blame on others now and name names,
16 people who were living or dead, except if some of them are great friends
17 like Vuk Draskovic or Carla del Ponte in Belgrade. On the one hand, his
18 crimes are ascribed to me and on the other hand, Vuk Draskovic seems to be
19 Carla del Ponte's best friend. So we'll go into all those details in due
20 course to see what the role of Carla del Ponte's role was in masking war
21 crimes. Why she tried to mask what the Serb guards did who were sent to
22 the front by Vuk Draskovic himself. There were no such atrocious crimes
23 that could be ascribed to the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party and
24 since there are no crimes on the part of our volunteers, we'll blame it on
25 others because they're all Serb forces because I seem to be held
1 responsible for everyone, Arkan's men, Mauzer's men, or Djindjic's men, or
2 the Yellow Wasps, or whatever, all the formations.
3 Furthermore, the Prosecution is going to bring forth witnesses to
4 claim that I advocated killing all children from mixed marriages, that at
5 a rally in Subotica I publicly said that all children from mixed marriages
6 should be slaughtered. Well, I'm not going to defend myself from
7 accusations like that at all. I would like you to find me guilty and then
8 in the judgement one of the main points be that I am found guilty because
9 I strove to have children from mixed marriages killed. 5.000 people
10 attended that rally in Subotica and they know full well that that is just
11 not true, as does the whole of Serbia. Well, you couldn't do me a greater
12 service than to convict me for saying something like that when all Serbs
13 know I didn't say anything like that nor could I ever have said something
14 like that. So please go ahead, I invite you to convict me for that. It
15 would be a historical service that you would be doing me.
16 Next, it says that "many volunteers of the Serb Radical Party and
17 Serbian Chetnik Movement were well-known criminals." Now, there's a
18 footnote there saying witness, the code is witness. Well, why don't you
19 list these well-known alleged criminals among the Serb Radical Party and
20 volunteers? Name me one name. Such and such was a notorious criminal, he
21 was in prison because of that, and then became a member of the Serbian
22 Radical Party, go on. Nobody made a better selection of volunteers than
23 did the Serbian Radical Party, but in our party a volunteer could be
24 exclusively somebody who had done his military service, regular military
25 service, with the exception of women because there are a fair number of
1 women volunteers as well. It was only our party that we tried to check
2 out the fact that to see whether people weren't drug addicts, alcoholics,
3 criminals, and so on.
4 And now you give this overall assessment of saying they were
5 well-known criminals. Well if they're well-known criminals, give us a
6 name. If they were well-known, then the public knows their names. That's
7 what would make them well-known.
8 It is a problem for the Prosecution that I attended the Sabor or
9 Assembly of the Serbian People in Srb, where the leaders of the Serbian
10 Democratic Party were picked on the 25th of July, 1990. That seems to be
11 a problem for the Prosecution as well. Amazing. I'm proud of having been
13 I am also being accused of forming all Serb autonomous regions
14 here. Well, I supported the formation of the Serb autonomous regions, I'm
15 proud of that.
16 I'd like now, so as to have enough time, to move to specific
17 incriminations and charges. Of course I could say a lot more today about
18 matters of principle, the structure of the Serbian Radical Party and so on
19 and so forth, but I'm sure I'm not going to have enough time to do all
20 that. So I'd like to move to the charges. I think we have quite a long
21 time to the break; is that right?
22 Vukovar, November 1991. The volunteers of the Serbian Radical
23 Party 14 Vukovar, that is indisputable, and the Serbian Radical Party to
24 this day is proud of the war role. The volunteers of the Serbian Radical
25 Party first of all fought in Borovo Selo, and the Prosecution criticises
1 me about that. They defended Serb civilians. A truce was signed at the
2 time, some kind of cease-fire, and a certain agreement was reached with
3 the local Croat authorities. There were barracks set up on the roads,
4 those barracks were dismantled --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Blockades, sorry. Interpreter's correction.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Blockades were set up and
7 dismantled. The situation was more lax and then the Croats in buses with
8 a lot of policemen stormed Borovo Selo and opened fire immediately. It
9 was not the Croats who were attacked in Borovo Selo. They attacked. They
10 died first. The first casualty fell on the Croat side which was
11 Vojislav Milic from the surrounds of Valjevo. He was a volunteer of
12 Dusan Silni, or rather, the White Eagles --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: On the Serb side.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He was the only volunteer of Serbian
15 Renewal. There was 16 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party, and he was
16 found in front of the building where the volunteers were sleeping without
17 any weapons and he was killed. The others heard the shooting, they took
18 up arms, and they beat the Croatian policemen. 16 of them managed to beat
19 the 100 or so policemen or however many there were because they were brave
20 young men and I'm proud of them.
21 It is further said that on 12 November or around that date I
22 arrived in Vukovar to visit the volunteers and boost their morale, and
23 that that same night a meeting was held in a house on Nova Street 81,
24 housing the command post of the JNA and the Territorial Defence of the
25 local Serbs. That I attended that meeting along with other leaders of the
1 Serb Radical Party and officers of the JNA who are named, including
2 Sljivancanin, Captain Radic, and other people. That meeting never
3 happened. The command post of the 1st Guards Brigade was in a tent
4 outside Vukovar, and it was there that the commander of the Guards
5 Brigade, then Colonel Mile Mrksic organized a dinner for me when I came.
6 At that dinner party there were his most prominent officers,
7 Lieutenant-Colonel Panic, Chief of Staff of the 1st Guards Brigade, and he
8 offered me his helmet as a gift because I had come with a small helmet --
9 in fact, it's not the helmet that was small it was my head that was big,
10 and the helmet didn't really -- how shall I put it? It just didn't look
11 good on my head.
12 So Lieutenant-Colonel Panic gave me his helmet as a gift. A large
13 number of officers attended that dinner party and this alleged meeting is
14 a complete fabrication. They found a liar who is working for the CIA and
15 who is claiming that he had overheard that conversation because the door
16 was ajar and he took notes in his writing pad. Well, these are the kind
17 of liars that the indictment relies on, and that I said some rubbish,
18 among other things, not a single Ustasha should be allowed to leave
19 Vukovar alive. And then the Prosecutor also incited some witnesses to say
20 that I made a speech to the troops. I didn't make any speeches to troops,
21 I didn't make any speeches to troops, I didn't visit any soldiers in
22 Vukovar because it was impossible. All the groupings of more than two or
23 three men were prohibited because the Croats were shelling with mortars
24 all the time. There were no rallies, no speeches, nothing of the kind.
25 I'm not really trying to respond to this allegation that I said not a
1 single Ustasha must leave Vukovar alive. Just as you might say death to
2 the Nazis, I -- you could say death to the Ustashas. It's not impossible
3 that at somewhere, sometime I said something like that. It's not the same
4 thing as saying, go on and shoot all prisoners of war.
5 And now it is said that the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party
6 participated in the liquidation of prisoners of war in Ovcara and in the
7 building of Velepromet. I have statements by six bus drivers who
8 testified that they personally took volunteers of Serb Radical Party to
9 Serbia as soon as Vukovar was liberated. Those people were in a hurry to
10 get home, to get a change of clothes, to have a bath, to rest. Maybe some
11 of them were left over in Vukovar, to have a bath, to rest. Maybe some of
12 them were left over in Vukovar. Maybe some of them remained, but if they
13 did, they did so of their own accord. A very high profile trial is
14 underway in Belgrade for the Ovcara case. There's only one SRS volunteer,
15 Slobodan Katic, among them. And the trial judgement acquitted him. Look at
16 that judgement of the Special Court in Belgrade.
17 Now, the Prosecution goes on to say that Milan Lancuzanin, a.k.a.
18 Kameni, Chetnik Vojvoda was convicted, yes, he was convicted, but he was
19 the first casualty of my trial here. This pro-Western traitorous regime
20 in Belgrade is doing the bidding of The Hague OTP to convict
21 Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni, at any cost, although he is not responsible for
22 any crimes. I don't know which of the other accused are really
23 responsible and which are not. I claim that not a single SRS volunteer
24 participated in the killings in Ovcara or Velepromet, and I assert that
25 not even Kameni did. When I asked him several years later, he swore to me
1 by all that was sacred to him that he didn't and I believe him, he's a
2 very honourable man. But he was not a volunteer of the Serb Radical Party
3 who was sent to Vukovar, he was born in Vukovar. He was the commander of
4 the detachment of the Territorial Defence in Vukovar, Leva Supoderica, as
5 a reserve captain first class of the JNA, and he commanded his own fellow
6 citizens over there, whereas the commander of the Guards Brigade later
7 decided that volunteers of the Serb Radical Party from the barracks in
8 Bubanj Potok should be attached to that detachment, and that detachment
9 came under the command of the 1st Guards Brigade.
10 Well, at that time Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni, indeed joined the Serb Radical Party
11 after having seen our volunteers and members of our party. I made him a Vojvoda
12 because he was brave, a valiant fighter. In that order making him Vojvoda, there
13 is no mention of anything but his bravery in combat. But he is not the man I sent
14 from Serbia to the front, so it is pointless to talk about him. That’s what I want
15 to say. In order for me to have at least moral responsibility for the
16 crimes in Ovcara, you would have to prove that this was indeed done by
17 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. If they had returned to Serbia
18 before the crime happened, then I have no moral responsibility either. I
19 learned of the crime itself more than a year later, maybe even two years
20 at the time when it happened I didn't even know. Somebody called Topola
21 is mentioned here as participating in that crime. I don't remember that
22 Topola man. It's not impossible that somebody with that nickname was
23 among the volunteers, but if he had remained in Vukovar after Vukovar was
24 liberated, he could only have done so of his own accord. And I'm not his
25 nanny to go after him and look after him and see what he went on to do
1 after completing his assignment in the organization of the Serb Radical
3 And the Prosecution says that I again later sent the same Topola
4 to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Well, that is not true. Anyone who was
5 guilty of any breach of discipline in Slavonia was excluded from the
6 Serbian Radical Party and was never sent there anywhere again, that was
7 the case of Vojin Vuckovic, Zuca, he was undisciplined in Slavonia and he
8 said himself that he left the Serb Radical Party, you gave me his
9 statements, because he didn't like the policy. Of course everybody will
10 try to find a pretext like that.
11 Now, regarding Vocin, there were no crimes there, no crimes
12 committed by volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. There's only one thing
13 that was true that commander was Radovan Novacic, a good man, an
14 honourable man who lost a leg in the war. He didn't commit any crime.
15 The volunteers of the Serb Radical Party at the time of the alleged crimes
16 were defending Masic, Sagovina which was the last rampart, the last route
17 of retreat for Serb forces. 11 of our volunteers were killed in one day
18 alone in that place. Several of them were wounded and several were
19 captured, among them a girl Dusica Nikolic. They were taken to a Croat
20 prison where they were tortured for months in many ways. They were really
21 unspeakably treated, but after six months they were let go and none of
22 them were tried.
23 Now, some crimes certainly did happen in Western Slavonia and a
24 crime happened in Vukovar, in Ovcara, in Velepromet. A group of officers
25 was tried here, the so-called Vukovar troika, the commander was convicted,
1 the commander of the Guards Brigade, Mile Mrksic. But his responsibility
2 was not proven. Miroslav Radic was acquitted whereas Colonel Sljivancanin
3 was convicted on a much lesser charge, not this crime in Ovcara, but
4 mistreatment of prisoners or something. I haven't seen the judgement and
5 I don't know the exact formulations. But that trial did not establish the
6 key thing: Who ordered that the prisoners from the Vukovar Hospital
7 should be turned to the civilian authorities of the Autonomous Region of
8 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. That order could not have been given
9 by the commander of the Guards Brigade. It couldn't have been done by the
10 commander of the Kragujevac Brigade either. He was the one who took over
11 command after Vukovar was liberated. The court didn't even try to
12 establish that, and I will tell you now. I'll give you the big secret.
13 The crimes in Vukovar were interlinked. General Aleksandar
14 Vasiljevic, chief of the military security service of the JNA personally
15 came to organize that crime. Why? Because the top leadership of the JNA
16 still believed at that time that it -- an American intervention was
17 possible in such a form that the JNA would be called upon to restore order
18 like it was in the puppet regime of Tito and that order would be like in
19 Tito's Yugoslavia. In 1990, they formed their own movement, the movement
20 for Yugoslavia. It was led by the retired General Branko Mamula.
21 Veljko Kadijevic, Blagoje Adzic, Aleksandar Vasiljevic were the key people
22 in that party, as well as Stevan Jerkovic who was formerly the president
23 of that party in 1991 and so on.
24 The army leadership and the military security service needed
25 crimes, both on the Serbian and the Croat side in order to find a good
1 enough excuse for army intervention that would topple both Milosevic in
2 Belgrade and Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb. And the military security service
3 organized parallel crimes on both sides. The military security service
4 organized the explosion in the building of the Jewish municipality in
5 Zagreb, and they mined the Jewish cemetery in Zagreb in order for the
6 world public to turn against Tudjman. And on the other hand some crimes
7 were provoked on the Serbian side as well so as to create a groundwork for
8 a settling of scores with Serb nationalists.
9 Aleksandar Vasiljevic in person brought White Eagles to Western
10 Slavonia. The White Eagles were brought in circumvention of the official
11 channels used by the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. The Bubanj
12 Potok barracks, official buses of the JNA, Western Slavonia. The
13 commander of the Territorial Defence of Western Slavonia, active-duty
14 Colonel Jovan Trbojevic. That was the official channel for sending
15 volunteers, but Vasiljevic had his own channel. Aleksandar Vasiljevic
16 took away from the Vukovar bank several million German marks. If it was
17 war booty than under regulations he was duty-bound to turn it over to the
18 so-called military service of the National Bank of Yugoslavia. He never
19 did that. All trace of that money was lost.
20 Aleksandar Vasiljevic had come here to testify as a public witness
21 in the Milosevic trial. One part of his testimony was in private session,
22 but he testified mostly in public. But the Prosecution never invited him
23 to testify in the Vukovar troika trial. Why? Why don't they invite him
24 to testify against me? I would relish that. They didn't because they're
25 not interested in the truth, the Prosecution isn't. They are prosecuting
1 me for political and other reasons. They couldn't care less who organized
2 crimes in Ovcara and in Western Slavonia.
3 In May 1993 there was a very, very strong possibility and threat
4 of the military putsch. Veljko Kadijevic proved that, promoting his book
5 in Moscow. That was confirmed by Borisav Jovic and other people, too.
6 The mobilisation in Serbia was unsuccessful in 1991 because Milosevic was
7 afraid of the military putsch, that's why his regime did not work to
8 mobilise citizenry. He preferred only volunteers to go to the JNA because
9 he knew that the military leadership cannot instrumentalise volunteers to
10 organize a military coup, as was their ambition. The response to
11 mobilisation in Serbia was only a couple of per cents, and in Montenegro
12 it was 100 per cent. That was not because Serbs were cowards. It's
13 because the regime in Serbia didn't want that mobilisation drive to be
14 successful, and of course various political parties worked against the
15 mobilisation for their own various interests. However, when the danger of
16 military coup was removed in 1998, we had more than 100 per cent response
17 to mobilisation call-up in Serbia because Serbs are a brave people, a
18 heroic people, and they are prepared to defend their country. They were
19 not cowards like the Prosecution wanted to present them in 1991.
20 Aleksandar Vasiljevic was tried in Belgrade because of that
21 scandal in Zagreb, but he received a very mild sentence and the whole
22 thing was covered up and shoved under the rug. Those were famous scandals
23 Opera and Labrador affairs. Those who know the military security service
24 of the JNA know that it was much more dangerous than the State Security
1 Now, Bijeljina. There had never been any volunteers of the Serb
2 Radical Party in Bijeljina. In the conflict between Serbs and Muslims in
3 Bijeljina, sometime in April 1992 or maybe end March, local members of the
4 Serb Radical Party participated, such as Mirko Blagojevic from Bijeljina.
5 He did participate in that conflict, but he never committed a crime. And
6 what Arkan's men did and Mauzer's men did, please don't describe that to
7 me. Not a single volunteer of the Serb Radical Party from Serbia was sent
8 to Bijeljina, not a single one, therefore it's out of place for me to even
9 discuss Bijeljina.
10 The same goes for Brcko. In the fighting for Brcko there were no
11 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. In places where there were many
12 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party, it's interesting that you didn't
13 level any charges. Skelani and other places, Niksic Heights, and others,
14 not a single charge. But you used places, localities, where there were no
15 volunteers from the Serb Radical Party.
16 Then it says: "Seselj's volunteers and Arkan's Tigers." Rubbish.
17 There was never any joint or coordinated action between our volunteers and
18 Arkan's Tigers. The volunteers of the Serb Radical Party always had
19 strict instructions never to mix with Arkan's men anywhere, never to mix
20 with Yellow Wasps, with Mauzer's men, with White Eagles, with the Serb
21 guard, and all the varieties of Red Berets. Those were the strict
22 political instructions volunteers of the Serb Radical Party received. For
23 what reasons? We had important reasons, but I don't want to discuss them
24 because I'm simply not obliged. I don't owe you that. I'm talking about
25 the charges that you levelled against me, as far as the crimes of other
1 people are concerned, it's up to you to establish that.
2 In Bosanski Samac there were some members of the Serb Radical
3 Party. It is correct that Srecko Radovanovic, nicknamed Debeli, was one
4 of them.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we'll have to have a
6 break soon. I think we have to have at least 20 minutes because of the
7 time needed to replace the tape. After the break we'll resume at 12.40
8 and I believe that by quarter to 2.00 you will have had your four hours.
9 So roughly you have an hour to finish.
10 We'll resume in 20 minutes' time.
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I wanted to ask Mr. Seselj
12 whether he will be so kind as to finish 10 minutes or 15 minutes earlier
13 because we have another hearing after this morning at least for two of the
14 Judges. So if he could be so kind as to finish by 1.30, 1.35, I would be
15 extremely grateful to him.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll be back in 20 minutes.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. It is
20 12.40. You have the floor, Mr. Seselj.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I proceed?
22 I'm going to conclude my statement of the accused by 1.30 in order
23 to meet the needs of Madam Lattanzi. However, I hope that some other time
24 when I particularly care to go on for 20 minutes longer with somebody's
25 cross-examination, that you are going to accommodate me as well. Thank
1 you very much.
2 I started talking about what happened in Bosanski Samac. Indeed
3 there were a few people there who had been volunteers of the Serb Radical
4 Party among them was Srecko Radovanovic, nicknamed Debeli. He was such a
5 capable soldier that he even became a brigade commander or the deputy
6 commander of the 2nd Semberija Brigade, I cannot remember exactly now.
7 However, how did they find themselves there? After Vukovar was liberated
8 Srecko Radovanovic was a volunteer in Slavonia. The army selected a few
9 of the most capable volunteers and suggested to them that they go for
10 special training. I cannot remember exactly where the training camp was.
11 Srecko Radovanovic talked to me and asked me what I thought about that. I
12 agree that he go for that training, and he indeed went and after this
13 training this entire group that did not only consist of members of the
14 Serb Radical Party was sent by JNA helicopters to Samac, that is to say
15 that it was quite regular within the JNA. I don't know whether there were
16 any crimes in Samac or not, but I certainly know that Srecko Radovanovic
17 never committed a single war crime.
18 Although I did clash with him over some other matters later on in
19 the Serb Radical Party and he had to leave the party and so on and so
20 forth, but at any rate he is no war criminal. Now, this Dragan Djordjevic
21 nicknamed Crni and some others who they are I have no idea. It says here
22 that Slobodan Miljkovic nicknamed Lugar is from the Serbian DB. I don't
23 know about that either. I know that at one point he joined the Serb
24 Radical Party in Kragujevac and was soon thrown out of it and later on he
25 was killed in a clash with some member of the DB. What happened there, I
1 really don't know and in this particular case I'm not really interested.
2 As for Zvornik, first of all the Prosecution refers to a meeting
3 in Zvornik in March 1992, where I allegedly made a speech saying: "Dear
4 Chetnik brothers, especially you on the other side of the Drina, you are
5 the bravest of all and we are going to clean up Bosnia from the infidels
6 and we are going to show them the road, as is right." The indictment
7 doesn't say infidels, it says pagans. First of all, I know that I have
8 convinced you so far that I'm not capable of expressing myself in such a
9 primitive way. My speeches are fiery, they may be war-mongering, but
10 they're not this stupid and primitive. Even when I went to elementary
11 school, I could not speak in such a primitive way. I mean to say
12 infidels, pagans. First of all, I never considered the Muslims to be
13 infidels or pagans or is that possible and am I not educated enough to
14 know that that is impossible?
15 Islam is a religion that is directly based on Judaism and
16 Christianity and it recognises the Old Testament and the New Testament,
17 and although it does not recognise Christ to be God, he is recognised as
18 the envoy of God and he -- they even refer to the day of judgement when
19 the dead and the living will be judged. Only a primitive person can put
20 these words in my mouth or a Prosecutor that has no general education, no
21 knowledge, nothing. As for pan-Islamists and fundamentalists, I wouldn't
22 have called them pagans. I could have called them "pogani", but that's a
23 different problem, that's the problem of your translators. From the
24 moment when this Tribunal was founded, an enormous number of Croats found
25 jobs here. As for the territory of the former Yugoslavia there's an
1 enormous number of Croats employed here, a lot more than Serbs, Macedonians,
2 Albanians, everybody else put together -- well, this is the policy of the Tribunal,
3 it's an anti-Serb Tribunal so I'm not surprised. But there is a problem when it
4 comes to translation. Because according to the Vienna Agreement reached in 1850 at
5 a meeting held between Serbian and Croatian intellectuals, they accepted that
6 Serbian was their official language, not Croatian, because their language remained
7 neglected because they used Latin and other languages. So they took over Serbian
8 and they immediately started spoiling Serbian with some kind of artificial words.
9 To this day they have been inventing new words and sometimes people have to make
10 a major effort to understand what it is they are talking about. You have
11 detained Croats here. A few years after they leave the Hague Tribunal
12 they cannot speak this new Croat language. In the Serbian language there is
13 a precise difference between pagans and pogani. Pagans are polytheists, and pogan
14 means excrement, not to use a more vulgar expression. I could have said
15 fundamentalist filth or excrement, but I certainly would not have said
16 pagan; I know that much. That's impossible.
17 It is possible for the Prosecutor and it's possible for these
18 translators who have spoiled the Serbian language and who are inventing
19 new words every day. Volunteers of the Serb Radical Party in the
20 beginning of April 1992 did take part in the liberation of Zvornik.
21 Before that, Zvornik was taken by Muslim paramilitary formations. In
22 March and April 1992, everything that was not JNA was paramilitary. The
23 Serbs had to flee from Zvornik, and then in their counter-offensive the
24 Serbs took Zvornik and volunteers of the Serb Radical Party took part in
25 that under the command of the JNA. There were two groups of volunteers,
1 one was sent from Belgrade, from this War Staff of ours, and the other
2 group was established by our municipal committee in Loznica. And they
3 were in Zvornik from the 8th of April until the fall of the city fortress.
4 It was very well-fortified, it's above Zvornik, and it fell on the 23rd of
5 April. That's when the volunteers came back and there was a small group
6 left there to secure the front line facing Tuzla, but even that group
7 returned in the first half of May.
8 When the JNA withdrew from Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 19th of May,
9 in Zvornik, there weren't any volunteers of the Serb Radical Party left at
10 all. Volunteers only took part in combat. Volunteers of the Serb Radical
11 Party, not in Zvornik or in other places, never had detention centres,
12 prisoners, they did not capture anyone, keep them in custody, no one. And
13 here it says that Serb forces including volunteers. They cannot identify
14 the members of the Serb Radical Party as perpetrators of crimes, and then
15 they're using the broader notion of Serb forces and they included
16 volunteers. That is ridiculous. Volunteers of the Serb Radical Party
17 that were sent from Belgrade were commanded by Vukovic Cele, in May he
18 left Zvornik, the end of May 1992 he was with me in Podgorica, and he was
19 wounded, too. There was an assassination attempt, a hand-grenade was
20 thrown at me. One of the volunteers was there as my security detail at a
21 rally, and he -- this particular man kicked this hand-grenade. There was
22 this other man from Pancevo who said that he was the one who did that, but
23 Miroslav Vukovic said that he is the one who did that, so we said, all
24 right, it was him. He was wounded with a lot of shrapnel from that
25 hand-grenade, but I was wounded only with one. But he was wounded in the
1 lower part of the abdomen and the legs. I'm telling you that in May, in
2 the second half of May, he was not in Zvornik.
3 What happened there after that, I mean really, don't trouble me
4 with that. We won in the battle for Zvornik. If someone violated laws
5 after that, then that person should be tried. Strategically Zvornik was
6 very important for Republika Srpska, and that is why we had to take
7 Zvornik and we had to take it from the Muslim paramilitary formations.
8 What happened after that, well, those who committed crimes are
9 responsible, whether crimes were committed or not, that is what you have
10 to establish, but I really don't see how you you're going to link them to
11 me. On the basis of JCE? No way.
12 Then the broader area of Sarajevo, basically three persons are
13 involved, or rather, three localities. Ilijas, I am going to try to cut
14 this as short as possible, I am going to try to be as brief as possible
15 and as we hear Prosecution witnesses we're going to deal with that.
16 Vasilije Vidovic, nicknamed Vaske, was a volunteer of the Serb Radical
17 Party in Benkovac in Dalmatia in 1991. He fought heroically.
18 When the war was over with the Vance Plan, he returned to Ilijas
19 where he was born. It wasn't the Serb Radical Party that sent him to
20 Ilijas. At the beginning of the war in Ilijas, a unit was established and
21 he was the commander of that unit. The Serb Radical Party from Belgrade
22 never sent volunteers to that unit, and during the course of the war I
23 visited Ilijas twice. That is correct, I visited his unit too. I have
24 such unlimited confidence in Vasilije Vidovic that after the war when the
25 Serbs had to leave Ilijas after the Dayton accords, I brought him to
1 Belgrade and appointed him head of my personal security detail. That is
2 the kind of impeccable morality that this man has as far as I'm concerned.
3 I don't believe that he never [as interpreted] committed any
4 crimes and even if he had, what does that have to do with me? You say
5 that he had a skull on his car. Did you establish whether it was a human
6 skull or a plastic skull? And if it's a real skull, where was it found?
7 It dates back to when? You're trying to say it's the skull that belonged
8 to a Muslim person, well, then there would have to be a Muslim helmet on
9 the bonnet of that car. Well, you kept silent about that. A blue helmet
10 of the UN was on that car, and if Vaske Vidovic was trying to intimidate
11 someone with that skull, it wasn't the Muslims, there weren't any around
12 him, it was the forces of the United Nations. Now, if intimidation of UN
13 forces is a war crime, then call that a crime too.
14 About him committing crimes against civilians or prisoners, that
15 is totally out of place. These are pure fabrications. As for volunteers
16 of the Serb Radical Party in the beginning of Sarajevo, there were some in
17 Grbavica. Volunteers came there under the command of Branislav
18 Gavrilovic, Brne, he personally came on a JNA helicopter. The volunteers
19 fought for Grbavica against the Serb -- against the Muslim paramilitary
21 In Hrasno, a group of prisoners was taken and that is an extension
22 of Grbavica. There was a major danger and they would all get killed. So
23 Gavrilovic called me in Belgrade to intervene in Pale and ask for help and
24 I did that. You have intercepts of telephone conversations when Grbavica
25 was reverted in Serb hands then the volunteers returned to Belgrade to
1 Serbia and Branislav Gavrilovic, since he was born in Sarajevo, remained
2 in his native town. After that he went to Ilidza and was within the
3 Ilidza Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska.
4 You say that over there there were some four prisoners of war that
5 he mistreated, killed. It is pointless for me to discuss that. I believe
6 that that was not the case. And even if it was the case, so what? Why
7 would I go into all of that? Maybe he had some personal reasons for that
8 from before the war. Who knows what that was all about? You know, you
9 are ascribing all sorts of things to me from here and there and everywhere
10 and I'm supposed to go into all these things as to happened. Nothing
11 happened as far as I'm concerned because he at that time was not a
12 volunteer of the Serb Radical Party.
13 Slavko Aleksic at the beginning of the war was a member of the
14 Serbian Democratic Party and an official of that party in the Novo Sarajevo
15 municipality. When the war broke out, he proved to be a hero, a
16 commander. Soon he became an officer of Republika Srpska. He held the
17 most sensitive section of the Sarajevo front, the so-called Jewish
18 cemetery, where there was heavy fighting every day. The Serb Radical
19 Party is proud of his valour, but he was not a volunteer who we sent from
20 Belgrade to the front line. He's a man from Sarajevo. In 1992 he became
21 a member of the Serb Radical Party. In his unit there weren't any
22 volunteers from the Serb Radical Party that we had sent from Serbia. He
23 had volunteers, but from different countries; Russians, Bulgarians,
24 Romanians, Greeks, even a Japanese person. I personally met this Japanese
1 As for all these crimes that you ascribe to Slavko Aleksic, you
2 invented all of that, you are falsely accusing him, although I really have
3 no reason to protect him now because when Biljana Plavsic betrayed
4 Republika Srpska, he followed Biljana Plavsic, and that's when I stopped
5 all contact with him. He disappointed me on a political level, but in the
6 war he was a valiant warrior.
7 Mostar. First of all, let's get one thing clear. In Herzegovina
8 there were two groups of volunteers. One was in 1991 in Mostar under the
9 command of Oliver Dennis Barrett, who's an ethnic Albanian. Mujo Bunjaku
10 [phoen] is his real name. I didn't make him change his name. I respected
11 him as an honourable man, but he for some reason changed his name on his
12 own, and he took the name of the hero of this movie called "The Love
13 Story," I think you remember that movie from the 1960s, it was a movie and
14 a book. He was there until 1992. He was with me at the rally in
15 Podgorica in May 1992. When this hand-grenade was thrown at me he was
16 seriously wounded too. He had a lot of shrapnel wounds on the abdomen and
17 on his legs. He returned to Belgrade. The commander -- it was Branislav
18 Vakic who became commander of the voluntaries. You're not ascribing a
19 single crime to Oliver Dennis Barrett or Vakic. You are charging people
20 who had nothing to do with the Serb Radical Party and then you say these
21 are my men.
22 You are also referring to this Arsen Grahovac in the context of
23 me, and you say that he spread the ideology of the Serb Chetnik Movement,
24 that he had a cafe called Ravna Gora, and the volunteers of the Serb
25 Radical Party came there. As for this Arsen Grahovac, I never saw him in
1 my life. I never met him, but my associates studied his entire biography.
2 He was a member of the Serb Renewal Movement and he was also a Municipal
3 Assemblyman on manufacture of the Serb Renewal Movement. He got killed in
4 1993. In Nevesinje there was a considerable stronghold of the Serb
5 Renewal Movement. They had three times more MPs than the Serb Democratic
7 You are saying here that he committed some crimes. I don't know
8 whether he committed these crimes at all. However, as far as Ubarak and
9 Sutina are concerned as crime sites, the OTP itself gave me documents from
10 the cantonal court of Mostar showing that the cantonal court in Mostar
11 issued an indictment against 30 Serbs for the crime in Ubarak and Sutina.
12 All 30 are from Mostar, Nevesinje, or the surrounding villages. There's
13 not a single one from Serbia. They are inventing some rally that I held
14 in Nevesinje which actually never took place in 1991 or 1992. I never
15 held a rally there.
16 Then also they mentioned some Zdravko Kandic, that he commanded
17 the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party and the Serb Chetnik Movement. I
18 never met that man. He's a local person there. He's not a volunteer from
19 Serbia. You interviewed him. Yesterday they tried to hand over to me
20 four CDs with suspect interviews, including Zdravko Kandic's interview.
21 The Prosecution knows that he's not from Serbia. The Prosecution knows
22 that I did not send him from Serbia. What do I have to do with him then?
23 Also as far as Teleca Lastva is concerned it has nothing to do
24 with volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. Now I'm not going into whether
25 crimes were committed there or not. Then Lipovaca, what does that have to
1 do with volunteers of the Serb Radical Party? You are mentioning these
2 people who are volunteers from Draskovic's party. Why? Because it seems
3 that even a few babies were murdered there, and then it suits you that I
4 should be the criminal whose volunteers killed young babies. That is how
5 perfidious the OTP is in its endeavours. I've never heard of crimes that
6 took place there until the indictment was amended.
7 Finally let's look at Hrtkovci because I have a few things to say.
8 I am going to deal with Hrtkovci very quickly. There is just one thing
9 that is correct, that is that in the first half of 1992 I publicly said in
10 Serbia within my election campaign that there should be retorsion. Over
11 200.000 refugees fled from Tudjman's regime, they came to Serbia, Serbia
12 was in a terrible condition, these refugees had nothing to eat, they did
13 not have a roof over their heads, this seemed to be a rational solution as
14 far as I'm concerned, and that was therefore the stand of the Serb Radical
15 Party in the elections that were held in 1992.
16 However, I also made a speech in Hrtkovci on the 6th of May. We
17 have the speech on tape. It's recorded and it was published in my books
18 twice, once a number of years ago and now in my latest book, "The Devil's
19 Apprentice, Pope John Paul II," and we can see that this is a speech
20 advocating the programme. It's not true that I read out lists of names.
21 One of our activists read out the lists of names of Croats who had left
22 Hrtkovci for Croatia a long time ago and joined up with the Croatian
23 National Guards of Tudjman, so that's what this list refers to. In
24 Vojvodina there was no attack on the civilian population anywhere. There
25 was sporadic incidents before this meeting and after the meeting. But the
1 police investigated and threw light on those incidents during the rally.
2 A killing did take place but it has nothing to do with this one
3 here and you know for something to be dealt with at this Tribunal the
4 crime must have been committed within the frameworks of an armed conflict,
5 that's the first point; and secondly, there must be an attack, widespread
6 or systematic. There's no attack here. That's the point, whereas
7 incidents that take place in the streets and other public places are
8 unavoidable when you have a large number of refugees from Croatia, Serbs
9 that were expelled by the Tudjman regime. So what is that to do with me?
10 I sent here a report on almost 400 pages prepared by my associates. I
11 handed that in as a contribution to the objections to the indictment. You
12 can study it, you need not -- a book of documents will appear recently
13 that we prepared on that document, but the most important thing is this:
14 That not a single Croat was deported from Serbia, nobody was expelled from
15 Serbia. Their property was not seized. It was only Croats who left and
16 exchanged their property with Serbs and the Roman Catholic Church always
17 acted as mediator and no agreement was reached until the Roman Catholic
18 Church in Vojvodina through its channels checked to see whether the Serb
19 property was left behind in Croatia, and when they found out that the
20 Serbs fleeing had left their property which consists of such and such,
21 then an exchange took place and it was always the Croats that fared much
22 better in that exchange than the Serbs did.
23 I've already said what I think about being accused of saying that
24 children from mixed marriages should be killed and there was another
25 shoehorn incident mentioned, and that was brought up by Minimax a
1 comedian, a Serb comedian in a program called Minimaxovizija. Because of
2 the communist prejudice, part of the public thought that Serb Chetniks
3 were traditional slaughterers, cutters of throats and that's how the
4 communists portrayed them in World War II. In this humouristic programme,
5 he asks me, "You Chetniks, are you still cutting throats?" And my answer
6 was a very quick one. "Of course we slaughter but we no longer slaughter
7 with knives, we slaughter with shoe-horns which had gone rusty, rusty
8 shoe-horns in actual fact so you can't know whether the victims succumbed
9 to tetanus or to throat cutting." Well, black humour, perhaps you don't
10 like that kind of humour, I myself do, and that programme was televised
11 two years ago when Minimax died, the comedian Minimax died, and I write
12 about all this in my book and now the Prosecution has found a false
13 witness who said at the rally in Subotica I said we are going to gouge
14 Croats, their eyes, with rusty shoe-horns. When I mentioned shoe-horns, I
15 never mentioned Croats at all in the same context.
16 Now, gentlemen, Judges, I have a few more words to say in the 22
17 remaining minutes. Four years in detention for me was a systematic
18 violation of my rights, which is so evident that it hampered the public
19 interests and the credibility and moral and legal integrity of the
20 International Tribunal even if it were legitimate and lawful. And it also
21 completely jeopardized the right of that Tribunal to try me as an accused.
22 It is quite obvious an abusive procedure which does not question authority
23 but makes it incumbent on the Trial Chamber to exercise its discretionary
24 right and refuse to try an accused if there has been a violation of the
25 rights of the accused. Now, you have been almost five years too late, so
1 it's impossible to ensure a fair trial after that passage of time, and any
2 request to try me you as the Trial Chamber are asked to violate your own
3 feelings and sentiments of legality and proper conduct. The violations of
4 my rights are very serious so that you cannot keep your own integrity
5 except by exercising your discretionary right to rescind the indictment --
6 dismiss the indictment.
7 Over the past five years I have been subjected to systematic
8 torture. Now, what did that torture consist of? As to the length of
9 detention, a reasonable period of time was long overstepped. There's no
10 lawyer in the world that won't confirm that that reasonable amount of time
11 was overstepped a long time ago. On two occasions I was refused all
12 contact with my immediate family, the first time for seven months, the
13 second time for two months, telephone contacts and all other contacts.
14 Four -- for four years they have tried to impose counsel upon me. First
15 of all, that created mental disquiet and it was a costly procedure. Legal
16 proceedings were taken with the Dutch Chamber and so on with respect to
17 persons that wanted to be my Defence counsel. And for four years I was
18 prevented from communicating with my legal associates in regular fashion.
19 They also refused in the beginning to send me documents in the Serbian
20 language and in hard copy, on paper. It took four years for them to
21 impose electronic disclosure, and they limited the length of my motions
22 and the Trial Chamber overstepped its authority because it is not a legal
23 act; they can only make recommendations. So his recommendation is not the
24 same as a Statute or Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
25 With the mention of names of certain members of the Registry and
1 their criminal acts, let me say that I was prevented from speaking, the
2 floor was taken away from me, all the transcripts were redacted which is
3 also against the law. No member of the Registry can be protected to be
4 tried by the public. In June 2005 I was informed that an initiative was
5 taken to establish a lack of respect of the Tribunal -- contempt of court,
6 actually, and I don't know why that motion was set in motion because
7 everything was done secretly. So I don't know why the Prosecutor
8 initiated proceedings for contempt of court. At the end of 1995, the
9 Trial Chamber issued an order to seize some of my documents which had
10 previously been disclosed to me by the Prosecution. I don't know to the
11 present day what the contents of those documents are, I didn't have time
12 to read them through all, but they just stormed in with an order to seize
13 the documents in my cell and now allegedly the Registry is storing those
14 documents. I don't know what they're about, what they contain.
15 Pursuant to Rule 68(i), potentially exculpatory material has not
16 been disclosed to me. What I received was negligible compared to all the
17 documents that the Prosecution has at their disposal in that regard. I
18 have been forced over these five years to be witness to systematic and
19 terrible pressure and coercion on other Hague accused to agree to plea
20 agreement with the Prosecution and to testify against other people. There
21 have been -- there has been a lot of false testimony. There was also some
22 killing, and a group of officers accused of the crimes in Srebrenica,
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Dragan Jokic was brought out although he has already
24 been judged, he's forced -- he was forced to testify but he did not reach
25 a plea agreement and since he refused to testify, having been under
1 pressure, proceedings were initiated for contempt of court.
2 They are prone to use intimidation, pressure, and other forms of
3 method. They told people that they are potentially a suspect and that
4 they would be indicted. Some people buckled in and agreed to testify
5 against me, but now when the Hague Tribunal is no longer able to issue
6 proceedings against them they refused to be false witnesses anymore. The
7 Prosecution promised other people that if they falsely testify against me
8 their entire families would be transferred abroad, they would get a new
9 house, new job, money, et cetera, and they agreed. They would sell their
10 soul to the devil and then it turned out The Hague Prosecution office
11 cheated them, they got none of those things and now they don't want to
12 testify anymore.
13 Despite the decision in principle, that you, Mr. Antonetti, took
14 as the Pre-Trial Judge, the issue of financing my Defence has not been
15 resolved yet. Furthermore, one of the other forms of harassment and
16 torture is the decision of the Trial Chamber to extend proceedings for
17 contempt because of the accusations I made against the previous
18 Prosecutor. It was said in their decision that that would be dealt with
19 once my trial is over. It makes no sense then. That issue had to be
20 dealt with urgently.
21 Administratively, a large number of my submissions were returned
22 to me because of insulting contents. I admit to some insulting things
23 that I instructed my associates to write at the time of Van der Spoel, who
24 the Court tried to impose on me as counsel, but this cannot be returned to
25 me by administrative decision. The Trial Chamber has to reject my
1 submissions, explaining their decisions and the reasons. Now, the
2 Registry is here taking over some of the competences of the Trial Chamber.
3 I was forbidden from mentioning any names at Status Conferences under the
4 pretext that perhaps these people are protected witnesses, which is
5 unbelievable nonsense.
6 There is -- there are too many witnesses enjoying protective
7 measures. That is inconceivable for a fair trial, for a regular trial.
8 It is unlawful to delay the revealing of the identity of witnesses until
9 30 days before the beginning of the trial on the explanation that the
10 first witness marks the beginning of the trial. The trial began
11 yesterday. It is completely unlawful to decide that the identity of some
12 witnesses would be revealed to me 30 days before their testimony. There
13 is no grounds for that in the rules. The indictment against me is now
14 reduced. Now it's not reduced. Western Slavonia, Bijeljina, Brcko, et
15 cetera were taken out, but the Prosecution did not reduce the number of
16 witnesses and they still intend to present crime base evidence, so I don't
17 know whether to defend myself from that or not. And one more thing, this
18 trial has begun without all the pre-trial procedural requirements having
19 been met.
20 From yesterday's opening statement of the Prosecution, it was
21 obvious that I am being tried and the indictment against me was raised
22 because of my nationalist ideology and that everything boils down to this
23 nationalist ideology and the speeches I made, spreading that nationalist
24 ideology. I am proud of that.
25 With this false indictment, the Prosecution helped me make this
1 ideology even more sophisticated and to use those five years to shape it
2 even better. And I am especially grateful to the Prosecution for enabling
3 me to suffer for my ideology. With this trial, my ideology of Serb
4 nationalism cannot be uprooted from the Serbian people. It will grow even
5 deeper roots. My life no longer matters. My ideology is alive and it
6 will live for hundreds of years after my death.
7 But in order for an ideology to be so powerful and so strong, its
8 architect has to show, to demonstrate, his readiness to suffer for it.
9 And I am grateful to The Hague Tribunal for giving me the opportunity to
10 suffer for my ideology. I express my great regret that those who wrote
11 the Statute of the ICTY did not envisage the death penalty so that
12 proudly, with dignity, upright as my friend Saddam Hussein, I could put a
13 final seal on my ideology. It would become immortal. Since I am deprived
14 of that opportunity, the only thing left to me is to appeal to you to make
15 sure that your judgement metes out the harshest possible sentence. The
16 harsher the sentence, the stronger my ideology would be.
17 I lived long enough, but I want immortality for my ideology. I have already
18 made it immortal by making it ideologically sound, by grounding it firmly
19 in historical fact, by making it anti-globalist, by being an open opponent
20 of the planetary hegemony and dominance of the United States of America,
21 that I am an opponent of the European Union and by being a great enemy of
22 the NATO. That is why I am being tried in the first place and trying me
23 is a good idea.
24 At the end of this expose I want to remind you of one of the
25 greatest works in literature, the novel "War and Peace" by Tolstoy, Leo
1 Tolstoy. In one of the chapters Tolstoy describes the march of Napoleon's
2 soldiers into Moscow and how Moscow burned and how Napoleon's soldiers
3 arrested a group of Russian people and took them to be executed. Among
4 those arrested Russians was Count Pierre Bezukhov with his hands tied he
5 was going to the execution site. And at one point he started laughing out
6 loud, a loud, sincere laugh and Count Bezukhov says: "They think they
7 tied me up. They think they can tie and bind my mortal soul." Well, this
8 Hague Tribunal and the Prosecution think they can convict me, that they
9 can convict my nationalist ideology, and I have to laugh out loud, ha, ha,
10 ha. You cannot harm my immortal soul, you cannot harm by nationalist
11 ideology. I may die soon, but if I do, I'll die of laughter because of
12 this ridiculous laughable indictment, the laughable Tribunal, and the
13 laughable United States and other Western powers that stand behind this
14 ridiculous Tribunal.
15 Thank you for your patience in listening to me.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have completed
17 what you had to say pursuant to Rule 94 bis.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues] ...
20 THE INTERPRETER: 84, interpreter's correction.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me start again you have
22 finished, completed your statement pursuant to Rule 84 bis. I'd like to
23 thank you for having cut down on the time that was allotted to you. Of
24 course if you ever need some extra time we will give you that extra time.
25 I can only close this hearing on the conclusion you made. This Tribunal
1 will neither convict or acquit you on the basis of an ideology, but on the
2 basis of evidence adduced by the Prosecution who beyond all reasonable
3 doubt will have to be confirmed. And your responsibility will be assessed
4 against all of this evidence at the end of this trial. And you will also
5 be providing you -- your evidence as you did and mention in the pre-trial
6 brief. I'd like you to know that as far as I'm concerned - and I think I
7 can speak on behalf of the rest of the Bench - you have before you three
8 Judges that are wholly independent and that will only try you on the basis
9 of a case file. This is what I wish to tell you. What happened before
10 the beginning of this trial is one thing; this trial will be another.
11 We shall meet again, as you know, on the 11th of December. The
12 11th of December a witness is going to come to testify, this is Witness
13 Oberschall, who will testify for three days. We are currently looking
14 into the exact time of the commencement of this hearing. I believe it
15 will be in the morning, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but it may
16 happen that given that other Judges on this Bench are also sitting in
17 other cases, we need at least one hour between one case and another. In
18 that case, we might have to start our hearings at 8.30 in the morning but
19 we have to deliberate on that matter.
20 Mrs. Dahl, you have the floor.
21 MS. DAHL: Yes, we have provided notification that we will have a
22 crime base witness available for the third day in the event that
23 Dr. Oberschall's testimony is completed in two trial days. I think that
24 as we get into the case we will establish a rhythm and I'll be able to
25 predict better how long things will take, but I'm quite parsimonious in my
1 allocation of court time and want to make sure that we have someone at the
2 ready in case it goes faster than expected.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Yes, I have one minute left before 1.30. I would like to remind
5 you, Mrs. Dahl, that I would -- this is something I would like to impress
6 on you. I would like you to make available to the Bench a folder, and
7 Mr. Seselj needs to have his own folder of your documents, because the
8 e-court system is sometimes too difficult to use for somebody representing
9 himself, and the accused will not be able to look at the documents and
10 check the screen at the same time. So in this binder you should provide
11 all the documents. I also like to work on hard-copy documents.
12 It's now 1.30, and I'd like to thank you and see you on the 11th
13 of December.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.29 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of
16 December, 2007